Patricia Ford Conrad, 81, of Birmingham, Alabama, went to be with the Lord on November 18, 2023. Pat was born on December 13, 1941, to Oron "Chub" and Sybil Ford in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Pat's early years were marked by frequent relocations due to her father's military service, leading her to attend thirteen different elementary schools. For her high school years, Pat's parents moved to Homewood where she graduated from Shades Valley High School in 1960. Despite the challenges of a transient childhood, Pat formed lasting friendships in high school and through her involvement at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, many of which endured throughout her life.
In her junior year of high school, Pat met her future husband, James William Conrad III. Their courtship blossomed with summers spent at the baseball field, where Pat had a job as the official score keeper for Homewood Little League and Pony League. Jim attended the University of Alabama, and they wrote letters to each other daily during the week and shared weekend dates at Alabama football games and Sunday church services at Dawson. This was the beginning of a 65-year journey of worship and companionship.
After high school Pat briefly attended the University of Alabama. However, love took precedence, and she married Jim on February 17, 1961. Their union was blessed with the arrival of two daughters, Cynthia and Catherine. Pat embraced the roles of wife and mother but pursued her passion for success by returning to college in her thirties. While in college Pat spiced up her collegiate career by being named first runner-up for Ms. UAB at the age of 40. Then in 1983 she graduated with a Marketing degree.
Pat truly came into her own when she became the first female sales representative of DuPont Corian in the United States. With her beautiful red hair and vivacious personality, Pat was one of the most beloved and successful sales representatives in the company. She was a trailblazer for women. Pat became the first female and non-architect to serve as President of the Alabama Architectural Foundation and won the prestigious Robert V Bishop Memorial Award in 2006.
Pat lived a full life. She cherished her three grandsons- Brad, David, and Conrad. Witnessing their marriages to loving partners brought her immeasurable happiness. Pat and Jim had the opportunity to make wonderful memories traveling to many places and the Thanksgiving trips to the beach with the entire family were a favored tradition. Family was the cornerstone of Pat's life, and she cherished every moment spent with her loved ones, giving her love, direction, and setting standards by which to live.
Pat experienced many joys in life from The Book Club with many long-time friends, Alabama football games, art classes creating paintings for others, ballroom dance lessons with Jim, preparing meals for her family including awesome Christmas dinners, and serving God through innumerable volunteer hours at Kids Connection and other church activities. Pat was a talented artist, joyful dancer, roll tide Bama fan, encouraging friend, and loving family member, who made everyone's life better just by knowing her.
Pat is survived by her loving husband, Jim; daughters Cynthia Dooley (Bruce) and Catherine Holder (Harry); three grandsons Brad Dooley (Jennifer); David Dooley (Brittany); Conrad Van Order (Paige); step-grandson Brody Holder (Hannah) and great step-granddaughter Opal. Preceding her in death were her parents Oron Russell Ford and Sybil Marie Ford, and her brother Orrin Russell "Butchie" Ford.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11:00 a.m., November 30, 2023, at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church. The family will receive friends at a reception following the service in Fellowship Hall. Memorial contributions may be made to Kids Connection through Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, 1114 Oxmoor Road, Birmingham, Alabama, 35209.