Patricia F. Tatum was born in Jasper, TN on May 26, 1933 to Herman G. Forrester, a civilian foreman at the Oakridge Nuclear Facility, and his wife, Minnie M. Forrester, a former school teacher and later, secretary for the Chattanooga Dairy Council. She had one sister, Christine F. Wood, who predeceased her in 2022. After a three month illness, Mrs. Tatum passed away while at home with her husband and daughter in their home in Aiken, SC on June 3rd, 2023, shortly after her 90th birthday. She is survived by her husband of 71 years, Dr. W. Earl Tatum, and her children Judy L. Tatum, David F. Tatum and his wife Karen G. Tatum, and Gregory H. Tatum, and her two granddaughters, Julia C. Tatum and Maria E. Tatum. Her youngest son, Paul D. Tatum, predeceased her in 2020.
Pat, as she was known to family and friends, was a highly intelligent woman who gave up a potential medical career to raise their four children while her husband worked to obtain his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Tennessee. Although caring for her family kept her from completing her own degree at UT, she never let that get in the way of continuing her education. All her life she read extensively and could talk knowledgeably on almost any subject. She travelled all over the world with her husband, a DuPont senior executive, and with her children.
In addition to being an excellent cook and an immaculate housekeeper, Pat was known for her skill in sewing and needlework. She not only taught crewel embroidery, but several of her chair seats and pillow covers were included in a national tour of American decorative arts sponsored by the Winterthur Museum in Delaware. Over the years she was involved in a number of charitable organizations, serving as the President of the Board of Directors of the Home of Merciful Rest, a nursing home for indigent women located in Wilmington, Delaware. Pat had always had a great interest in architecture and decor, and not only designed their retirement home in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, but took on the job of actively supervising the day-to-day construction of the house. The spectacular home that she created in the Plantation Country Club was showcased in a three page feature article in the Jacksonville Times Union. Pat was insatiably curious and interested in everything. While in her mid-60’s, Pat took up practicing the complex art of Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan, Qi Gong, and Tai Chi Sword under Sifu F. J. Paolillo. This remarkable woman will be sadly missed, not just by her loving family, but by all who knew her.
A memorial service and luncheon will be held at noon on Saturday, June 17th, 2023 at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Aiken, SC, with Rev. Dr. Tim McClendon, Senior Minister, officiating. The interment will be private on June 18th, 2023 at the family plot in the historic Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, SC.
SHELLHOUSE – RIVERS FUNERAL HOME, 715 EAST PINE LOG RD., AIKEN, SCTo order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Patricia F. Tatum, please visit our flower store.