(Due to Covid-19 concerns, all who attend the Memorial Services are REQUIRED to wear a face mask and practice social distancing)
Patricia Ann Griffin (née Brown) was born on June 8, 1941 in Asheville, North Carolina to Jack E. Brown and Magnolia Green Brown. She grew up in Asheville, the second oldest of five children, and attended Asheville City Schools. Patricia graduated from Stephens-Lee High School in Asheville in 1959. After attending Stillman College for one year, she received a B.A. from Mars Hill College in 1971. She received a M.A. in Education from Western Carolina University in 1985. She retired from the Asheville City Schools in 2003 after working over 30 years as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and administrator. She cared deeply about her students and dedicated her career to doing what she could to improve the outcomes of traditionally marginalized and overlooked students, especially Black students in the school system. Shortly after retirement, Patricia returned to Asheville City Schools as a school administrator and as a contracted reading specialist. She also worked with the Asheville Housing Authority as a community activity program manager. Additionally, Patricia served on the Asheville City Schools Board of Education from 2017 through 2021. Throughout her time with Asheville City Schools, she mentored many younger colleagues who strived to excel as educators. Patricia received numerous awards and accolades throughout her long career, including the Western Region Principal of the Year Award in 1997, the Wachovia Principal of the Year Award that same year, and the 2007 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award (presented by the Asheville Buncombe County Community Relations Council and the Martin Luther King Association of Asheville and Buncombe County Inc. in recognition of exemplifying the ideals and philosophies of Dr. King). She was a devoted and active member of Nazareth First Missionary Baptist Church for over 10 years, serving as a trustee, church clerk, bible study leader and more. Patricia was also a lifetime member of the Stephens-Lee Alumni Association and served as president of the Association from 2001-2008. Additionally, she was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and a board member of the South Asheville Cemetery Association, which works to preserve the historic Black burial ground. She was also an effective grant writer for non-profits throughout the city. She loved to laugh, dance, travel, enjoy life, spend time with her loved ones, and win a dollar or two at a casino. She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, James (“Eddie”) Browne and Jack Brown; and sister Barbara Wright. She leaves to cherish her memory: her beloved son Darrell and daughter Beverly; her granddaughter (her pride and joy) Ashley; brother, Jamal Brown; sister-in-law, Lea Browne; brother-in-law, numerous nieces, nephews, and devoted friends.
A memorial service honoring the life of Mrs. Patricia Ann Griffin will be held Saturday, August 7, 2021 at 1pm at Nazareth First Missionary Baptist Church at 146 Pine Street, Asheville, NC. There will be a visitation 12:30pm, until the beginning of the service.
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