Patricia “Pattie” Dianne Elliott was born December 27, 1950 to Robert F and Elizabeth V Elliott in Prairie Du Chein, Wisconsin. She was the fourth of five children. Her family later moved to Huntsville, Alabama, where she attended and graduated from Butler High School.
Pattie married Douglas Robinson, a Marine from Montana, in 1968 and had two children, Jason and Brandie. Their young marriage wouldn’t last, and Pattie returned her family to her home of Huntsville. Pattie worked hard to provide for her family as a single parent, but when Doug suggested they try to reconcile, Pattie moved to Billings, MT to try to keep her childrens’ father in their lives. Though this did not work out, Pattie stayed in Montana, where she met and married Roger Vanlandingham. Their marriage lasted seven years, and when they divorced in 1988, she moved back to the place she had always considered her home.
Back in Huntsville, Pattie became reacquainted with an old high-school classmate, Jimmy McGowan, and they fell in love. They married and remained so until his death in 2012. She lived out the rest of her life in her sweet home of Alabama, where she cherished her family and her cat until she left this world on April 6, 2021.
Pattie was a vibrant soul. She was a personality of infectious energy, and when she engaged with people, they couldn’t help but like her. Pattie could literally talk to anyone, and proved that on occasions beyond counting. She was funny, and loved to laugh and to make people laugh. She would always count it as a win if she could get you to laugh, and she won often.
Pattie instilled in her children a love for music and movies and enjoyed both of those things with them throughout her life. She would famously sing, “Are the stars out tonight,” from the Flamingos song “I Only Have Eyes for You” horribly loud and out of tune to get the kids out of bed in the morning. But when she really wanted to sing, she sang well.
In her youth, Pattie was a competitive swimmer, and though most of her family never saw her swim a lap, they all knew how much she loved to spend time near the water. Whether it was sun tanning around the pool or lounging on the beach, Pattie loved the water. She went on many beach vacations, including Gulf Shores, Jamaica, Hawaii, and the Florida Keys, and she spoke often about how much she loved the shore. She did not like mountains, log cabins, or bugs.
Cats were especially important to Pattie, and she had them as cherished family members all her life, including her last fur buddy, Bubba, who she loved with all her heart. She passed that compassion along to her children as well, both of whom have adopted many of their own animal family members.
Pattie always took great pride in her appearance, making sure that her hair and makeup were always perfect before leaving the house, and she became a hairdresser because she wanted to provide that pride to other people as well. She was very good at what she did, and besides making her clients look their best, she also made sure that both of her children were the best-styled kids in school, sometimes even when they didn’t necessarily want to be.
Family was everything to Pattie. She would always say, “Blood is thicker than water,” and then remind whoever she was talking to to keep their family close, because in the end, that was all you had. She loved spending time with her mother, Elizabeth, and was fond of all her siblings, Nikki, Brian, Cal, and Bob, finding endless joy in their presence. Pattie was preceded in death by her father Robert, her mother, Elizabeth, siblings Cal Elliott, Nikki Elliott Listau, and Brian Elliott, and she cherished the time she spent with her remaining brother Bob Elliott, until the time of her death. She is survived by her daughter Brandie Robinson (Kelly Troglen), her son, Jason Robinson (Laurie), grandchildren Zachary Smith, Rachael Smith (Johnny Giddeons), Connor Robinson (Sally), Aidan Robinson, Brennan Robinson, great-granddaughter Gypsee Giddeons, and her brother, Bob Elliott.
Pattie lived her life unapologetically. She was authentically who she was without reservation until her illness overtook her. She never made herself out to be perfect, but she also never thought she should have to be. She certainly didn’t think anyone else was, and, most of the time, she didn’t hold that against you. She was a spark of light that is no longer in this world, and she will be missed. We love you, Pattie.
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