‘Miss Patsy’ retires after 32 years at TES
By Carrie A. Mizell
‘Shock’ hardly describes the look on Patsy Turner’s face last Tuesday night when she entered the Trenton Elementary School cafetorium and discovered over 100 friends and family members waiting to surprise her.
Students at TES are not the only ones missing “Miss Patsy’s” smiling face and the jar of lollipops that always sat on the corner of her desk; her co-workers are also feeling the loss.
Trenton Elementary School Principal Riley Deen and Maxie Clark assist Patsy Turner up on stage
and into her wheelchair last Tuesday evening at a retirement roast held in her honor.
After 32 years at TES, Turner opted to retire so that she could stay home and take care of her granddaughter, Tinley.
Turner touched so many lives during her tenure in the front office at TES, that her friends, family members and co-workers thought a celebratory roast was in order. In honor of her distinguished service, a wheelchair met Turner at the cafeteria doors on Tuesday night and served as her royal throne throughout the evening’s entertainment.
“I think I am about to have a heart attack!” Turner said, once she was finally able to speak.
Turner’s son and daughter-in-law, Nick and Tiffany Turner, had told her that they wanted to go to Gainesville on Tuesday night and have some professional pictures of the family made. The family just needed to run by the school for a minute before heading out.
To say Patsy and her husband David were surprised at the sight of the decorated cafetorium and all the well-wishers gathered to celebrate would be quite an understatement. Considering her retirement truly marked the end of an era at TES, co-workers went all out compiling old photographs into a slide show and event writing songs in her honor.
Turner’s cousin, Maxie Clark, served as emcee at the informal roast and didn’t mind sharing several funny stories from their childhood.
“I have worked on copy machines at a lot of schools through the years and dealt with a lot of differrent personalities,” said Clark, who owns McCrimons Office Systems in Lake City. “At Trenton Elementary School I have always been met with kindness and respect by Patsy.”
With his tongue firmly in his cheek, Clark went on to say just how lucky TES was to have Patsy Turner work there over the last 75 years.
Former TES principal Jean Ledvina recalled with a smile that Turner was always saving the day and keeping everyone in line 100 percent of the time.
“Patsy would be there to help no matter what,” Ledvina said. “She was always ready to hold a child who just needed to be hugged. I know she will truly be missed at TES.”
Turner was one of a Sassy Sisters subculture of friends and co-workers at TES who traveled together, and as Marsha Cook said, “No trip you ever took with Patsy ever turned out like you thought it would!”
A number of friends spoke about experiences they have had with “Pat Pat” over the years. Though laughter filled the cafetorium throughout the evening, the spirit of the evening was to honor Patsy Turner’s big heart, which has shown love to hundreds of students needing an extra hug over the last 32 years.