SEYMOUR - Former Indiana First Lady Patricia (Pat) Whitcomb has passed away.
Family members say Whitcomb died on June 27, 2021, in Seymour at the age of 91. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Pat loved her adopted home state of Indiana. A graduate of Greenfield High School and Ward Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee, Pat joined the Fashion Board at L.S. Ayres upon graduation. Modeling in the Tea Room, she caught the eye of young State Senator Ed Whitcomb and after a three month courtship they married.
That began a journey that would take them to all 92 counties in Indiana several times and to all corners of the world. Eager to engage with people everywhere she went, Pat learned courtesy phrases in several languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, French, Japanese, Tagalog and German. Pat was active in her community. She regularly volunteered at the Thrift Shop, operated by her sorority, Psi Iota Zi. The same horticultural skills that she used to landscape the grounds of their home earned her the presidency of the All-Thumbs Garden Club. A leader of her daughters’ Brownie troop and as a Sunday School teacher, Pat was a role model of grace and intelligence.
The consummate partner, Pat helped Ed build his law career, his political base, and was responsible for getting his first book published. All the while, she managed the household of five children and their numerous pets with the help of her mother-in-law, their live-in housekeeper; and a college student who supervised the children when Pat and Ed were on the campaign trail and serving the state as Governor and First Lady.
Life after politics took Pat into the business world with her mother and brother. They operated a successful Honey Baked Hams franchise in Toluca Lake, California. During that time, she and Ed divorced, and Pat lived in Toluca Lake until the late 1980’s. She then moved back to Indiana where she continued her passion for the arts, gardening and being with her children and grandchildren.