Patty graduated from Piedmont High School in 1983 and graduated from Jacksonville State University three and a half years later. Not long after graduating from JSU, she was hired to work in the purchasing department for the City of Anniston and then transferred to the planning department about six months later.
She worked there until she was first hired with the City of Jacksonville in the municipal court and city clerk’s office in 1989. She left that position in 1993 to stay home with her daughter, Paige, who was eight months old at that time.
In 1998, when her son, Ethan, was 2, she was called to fill in temporarily in the municipal court office while the position was being advertised. Patty decided to seek the position and was hired for the permanent position. She stayed about a year before leaving again to stay home with her children.
“I couldn’t leave my kids with just anyone,” she said. “I was always very particular about who they stayed with. I guess I was one of those over-protective parents. And I always wanted to be there for each of their milestones.”
She worked for about four years as secretary at First Baptist Church of Piedmont before returning to the City of Jacksonville in January 2005. She was asked to be the assistant to the mayor’s secretary, Dorothy Norman. She stayed in that position until “Dot” retired in 2008.
Since then Patty has been executive secretary to Mayor Johnny Smith. The other mayors she worked for were John B. Nisbet, Jr., George Douthit and Jerry Smith.
“Everyone here is like family to me,” she said. “There are still people here that I worked with in the ‘80s. They’ve seen me get married, get saved, raise a family.”
Patty said she’s enjoyed every department that she’s worked in for the city. Her current job though is probably her favorite.
“I’ve loved all of my jobs,” she said. “With my position now, you have opportunity to be a part of every department within the city. You get a better understanding of how the city actually operates. Everything that happens within the city comes through our office.”
She said she enjoys working for the current mayor, Johnny L. Smith.
“He’s awesome,” she said. “He’s a very good mayor who is concerned about the city as a whole, and he’s a very compassionate man.”
Patty is the daughter of Imogene Needham Wolfe. Her father, Gary Wolfe passed died August 2008.
“He was my hero,” she said. “I was a daddy’s girl and I’m just like him. Ask my mother. She’ll say that I’m just like him. I consider that a compliment.”
Patty lives in Piedmont in the home of her grandparents, the late Bill and Inez (Ponder) Needham.
Her son, Ethan, is a senior at PHS. Paige is now 21 and is expecting her first child, a boy, on March 29.
“Everybody has always said that being a grandparent is so different from being a parent,” said Patty. “So I’m really excited about starting that next journey. I’ll probably do like a lot of other grandparents say they do. I’ll spoil him and send him home.”
Patty’s sister and brother-in-law, Angie and Scott Maddox, live in Piedmont. They have a daughter, Ashley Williams.
Patty enjoys walking and exercising. She and Paige have recently begun Zumba classes.
“I like to get out and walk,” said Patty. “Just being outside is what I really like to be doing. I’d rather be out in the yard working than inside cleaning or cooking. I love being in nature, seeing the colors change and the beautiful sunsets. A trip to Cheaha Mountain for some hiking or a kayaking trip down Terrapin Creek is definitely on my list of things I enjoy.”
Patty said she has several recipes that she enjoys making and that she hopes Paige and Ethan and other family members and friends enjoy eating. She admits that her recipe for Bread Pudding is one she loves to eat, but she cannot make.
“This is my mother’s recipe and I cannot make it like she does,” said Patty. “She’s the cook in our family.”
Contact Margaret at email@example.com.
Sweet Potato Pie
1 ½ c. cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
1 ¼ c. sugar
½ c. melted butter
¼ c. evaporated milk
1 t. vanilla flavoring
1 9” unbaked pie shell
Mix all ingredients and pour in pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes.
Old Fashion Bread Pudding
2 c. scalded milk
2 c. bread crumbs (better when you use old biscuits)
½ stick of butter
¾ c. sugar
1 T. vanilla flavoring
Combine and heat together milk, bread crumbs, butter and sugar. Let cool. Add eggs and vanilla flavoring. Pour into baking dish and bake at 325 degrees until firm. Cover with White Sauce while still warm.
¼ c. flour, less 1 T.
1/3 c. sugar
1 c. cold water
1 T. butter
Combine first three ingredients. Boil until thick. Add butter. Stir constantly. Pour over bread
Sweet Potato Casserole
3 c. cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
1 c. sugar
½ t. salt
½ stick butter
½ c. milk
1 t. vanilla flavoring
Mix all ingredients. Pour into greased 9x13 baking dish. Cover with topping.
1 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. flour
1 c. chopped pecans
1/3 stick butter
Mix ingredients and sprinkle over casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Chicken Pot Pie
2 c. chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cans Veg-All
1 c. self-rising flour
1 c. buttermilk
1 stick melted butter
Boil chicken. Take meat off bone and place in buttered 9x13 baking dish. Add Veg-All on top of chicken.
Mix chicken broth and soup together and pour over chicken and vegetables. Mix flour, buttermilk and butter together. Pour over chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.