Patsy Kay Whisnant, 77


Patsy Kay Norton Whisnant, 77, of Gainesville, died Wednesday, April 24, 2024, in Ozark. No services are planned at this time.

She was born Jan. 6, 1947, in Artesia, California, the only daughter of Ozark County natives Marvin and Lillian Faye Cockrum Norton, who also had three sons. Her family returned to Ozark County shortly after Pat's birth and operated a small farm here; her dad also did auto-body and fender-repair work. Pat was a descendant of Ozark County pioneer settlers Elisha and Eliza Gray Luna and grew up here, usually riding to the one-room Luna School with teacher Wolf Clark and then walking home through the woods with her brothers. After eight years at the Luna, she enrolled at Gainesville High School but left school at the age of 15 to marry Charles Lee Whisnant on Sept. 29, 1962, in Mountain Home, Arkansas. 

Despite the early start of their marriage, it lasted nearly six decades before Charles died 18 days before their 58th anniversary in 2020. Their home was a welcoming place for all who entered. Pat and Charles lived in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and other places wherever his work as a mechanic and truck driver took them. Patsy stayed home to raise their four sons. They moved back to Ozark County in their later years, where Pat became involved in community volunteer work. She served for several years on the board of the Senior Citizens of Ozark County, which oversees activities at The Center in Gainesville. For many years, Pat organized the weekly music jam sessions there. She loved music and enjoyed singing, even though, according to her son, she "couldn't carry a tune in a bucket."

The Center administrator Kaela Anderson said Pat was a valued helper at the facility's fundraiser dinners while she was on the board. And anytime she was at The Center, "She was always hugging and smiling and chatting with everyone, and everyone knew her. She was a lovely person," Kaela said. She was a Christian and served as secretary at The Fountain Church in Theodosia, where her brother and sister-in-law, Burl and Dawn Marie Norton, are co-pastors. 

Pat is survived by her sons: Darren Whisnant and wife Dawn of Clever, Marty Whisnant and wife Joni of Gainesville, and Jeff Whisnant and wife Karen of Republic; brothers: Burl Norton and wife Dawn of Gainesville, Rick Norton and wife Jill of Ocie, and Danny Norton and wife Becca of Nixa; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren whom she adored and doted on; and many friends and relatives.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Charles; her son Tim Whisnant; two infant siblings; one granddaughter, Christiana, and one great-granddaughter, Rhythm Lea. 

Ozark County Times

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