“Do not adorn yourselves outwardly….rather let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God’s sight.” 1 Peter:3-4
If a gentle woman will be considered great in the Kingdom, Patricia Ann Bales has found greatness. Born in Clarksville, Texas, on Feb. 10, 1940, she was the oldest child and only daughter of Hawk and Lois Bales, sister to Frank, Kenneth and David.
She was proudest of being Hank and Lois’ daughter, and those boys were her heroes every day of her life; they hung the moon and made her heart full. She grew up in Clarksville and Wichita Falls before moving to Albany in the third grade.
From then on, with a brief interlude, that was home. She left after graduating from Albany High School to attend Draughon’s Business College in Wichita Falls and then to Garland, Texas, to work before returning in the 1970s. And upon that return, Pat began to make her mark.
The most impactful lives are often lived quietly and humbly; such was Pat’s. She worked – ran, commandeered, organized, reigned – in Loren Willams’ law office for Loren and, upon his death, for his son-in-law Scott Campbell for over 40 years. It was her circle alongside Loren, Betty, Kay, Lori and Robert - some of the people she loved best.
It would be a gross mistake, though, to underestimate Pat’s gentleness for meekness. She cut no corners and expected to receive the best effort from everyone. She usually got it!
As much as she loved her job, her greatest joys were caring for everyone around her – her family, her friends and most deeply, the children she watched in the nursery at the First Christian Church. They were hers, by heaven, and woe be unto anyone who doubted that devotion. She was absolutely the happiest with a baby in her arms, a toddler on her lap and another at her knees. For a woman with no children of her own, she had the biggest flock of all!
After her babies, it was in her kitchen she shined. Very few people in those days didn’t know the taste of Pat’s bounty – cookies, cakes, pies, roasts – anything she could feed you. Feeding, nurturing with food and love and service were Pat’s ways of faithfully serving the God whose word directed her generous, faithful life. Even as her ability to “do” diminished, her joy in giving never did.
On Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, she was caught in the arms of her Lord and carried home. In the instant of her passing, she opened her eyes to see Him, to run to the arms of her parents and brother, to know the joy of the reward of her own kindnesses, her obedience to love as He loved her. She is precious in His sight, indeed, and shining in beauty.
She leaves behind the people she loved best, brothers and sisters-in-law Frank and Peggy Bales, David and Teresa Bales and friends too numerous to count, all blessed by having known her.
A memorial service in honor of Patricia was held Saturday, Sept. 12 at the Albany Cemetery Pavilion. Services have been entrusted to Morehart Mortuary. PD