Patty was born in Louisville on April 18, 1943, the daughter of James Edgar Bryan and Frances Ellen Strange Bryan. She graduated from Rineyville High School in 1961 as class valedictorian. She had a life-long love of learning and education and continued to study part-time with night classes at UofL while starting her professional career with the telephone company in Louisville. In 1968, she married Theodore “Ted” L. Veirs after he returned from the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War.
The couple settled in Elizabethtown and Patty built a vibrant, hectic life founded on her love of her husband and family, her enthusiasm for her community and her drive for excellence in everything she undertook, whether at home or in the workplace. Incapable of half-measures, she threw herself wholeheartedly into everything she did.
On the homefront, she raised four children and took in a couple of foreign exchange students along the way. She was an ambitious seamstress who made Easter dresses, prom dresses, Halloween costumes, Hawaiian shirts and all kinds of household items – a plaid sports coat she made for Ted won a ribbon at the Hardin County Fair. And after taking a class, she became a masterful decorator of cakes.
She balanced the demands of a busy home and work life by creating meticulous systems for everything, from washing , she was nicknamed “Our Lady of the Laundry,” to the ambitious family road trips she and Ted planned down to the last detail in the era before travel apps, in 1982, Patty financed a family trip with winnings from a Coke bottle cap contest. And she was a boundlessly energetic wife and mom, always present for her children and grandchildren: Cub Scout den mother, treasurer of the band boosters, “popcorn and coke queen” at school fundraisers and more. She loved theatre, music and supported the Hardin County Performing Arts Center. But apart from her family, above all else she loved the Kentucky Wildcats – basketball was her first love. Over time she became a season ticket holder for both basketball and football, enjoying all-day tailgating, traveling to SEC Tournaments and bowl games. In the last few years, she also became a rabid fan of the women’s volleyball team.
While raising her family, Patty worked at various positions, including a stint at Fort Knox, before joining the Hardin County School System in the 1980s. There she found her perfect niche in a position where she could express her pride in her community and her devotion to education through outreach and service programs.
Building community was a natural fit for Patty, who never met a stranger. For her, the perfect world was a happy, buzzing, crowded table. She always was excited to encounter new people and make new connections and for her every day was an adventure to be embraced.
Patty was preceded in death by her parents; and Ted, her husband of 44 years.
She is survived by two sons, James Scott Veirs of Utica, New York, and Joseph Darren (Tania) Veirs of Rineyville; two daughters, Cynthia (Jarrad) Vowels of Elizabethtown and Amy (Dave) Fox of Hamilton, Montana; five grandchildren whom she loved dearly, Grace and Lily Vowels, Jack Veirs, Katie Skiles and Piper Fox; a sister, Janet Bryan of Louisville; a brother, Ron (Mary Ellen) Bryan of Elizabethtown; and a large extended family, including many nieces, nephews and cousins.
The funeral is at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at St. Clare Catholic Church in Colesburg with the Rev. Ben Brown officiating. Burial follows in St. James Cemetery.
Visitation is from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and continues at 8 a.m. Saturday at Brown Funeral Home in Elizabethtown.
Published by The News-Enterprise from Dec. 2 to Dec. 5, 2021.