Patricia Howard Dobbins was born in Pratt City, Alabama on December 26, 1947, to the late Willie James Howard and Mary Ella Cargill Howard. She peacefully left this world in Portland, Oregon on March 24, 2023.
Pat attended South Pratt Elementary School, which was renamed Effie J. McCaw Elementary. Because of Pat’s outstanding academic performance, she graduated from Western Olin High School a full semester early in January 1965. Academically, Pat was ranked number one in her class and was chosen Valedictorian for her senior class. Pat was offered a full scholarship to Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. While at Stillman she earned two consecutive summer internships for IBM, in Poughkeepsie, New York (1967 &1968). Pat was initiated into the Delta Sigma Chapter Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., November of 1966. She was also an active member of the Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Club, the National Honor Society and named “Who’s Who Among American College & University Students” 1967 – 1969. Pat was a proud HBCU honor graduate from Stillman College, class of 1969 with a Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree in math.
Pat met the love of her life Edward D. Dobbins during her high school years, and they were wed on December 30, 1969. Ed was Pat’s best friend, and she made no apologies for the love they shared, a love that endured until Ed’s passing in 2019.
Pat dedicated her life to Christ at an early age and joined First Missionary Baptist Church of Pratt City, Alabama. Ed and Pat joined Bethel AME Church in Portland, Oregon in 1970. Pat was dedicated to God’s work and serving others. She served as the YPD Director, Sunday School Teacher, Steward, Lay member, and was a member of numerous choirs. She gladly answered any call for her service.
After moving to Portland, Oregon, Pat joined Zeta Sigma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., where she served in many capacities and offices; such as Committee Chairperson, secretary and President two different terms. She became a Golden Soror (50 years of service) in 2016. Pat was a “joiner” and as such was a faithful volunteer to many organizations that empowered, supported and uplifted the community.
Pat was employed by US Bank as a Computer Programmer from 1971 to 1978, and then accepted a Financial Systems Engineer position with NCR Corporation from 1978 to 1990. In 1990 Pat returned to US Bank as a System Engineer, and retired in 2010. Pat’s love for humanity supported her service to many programs helping others even after her retirement.
Pat was a stranger to no one, she never met anyone she didn’t have something in common with. Pat had a bond with seven of her childhood classmates from elementary school and high school which continued until her passing. She also had a deep abiding love for her Portland family whose friendship has been intertwined since the mid 1970’s.
Pat is preceded in death by her parents Willie James Howard and Mary Ella Cargill Howard; her three sisters, Lula Howard Neal, Madine Howard Outlaw, Bessie Howard Toney; four brothers, Willie James Howard Jr., Johnson Howard, James Howard, and Glenward Howard; and her loving husband Edward D. Dobbins.
Pat leaves to cherish her memory, her sister Christine Howard (Frederick L.) Callen, a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, her Portland family and many, many friends.
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