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Vivian Patricia (Barnett) Wishon
April 14, 1950 ~ July 30, 2023 (age 73) 73 Years Old
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Vivian Patricia ‘Pat’ Barnett Marr Wishon, 73, of Candler, NC, sadly passed away on Sunday, July 30, 2023, during an outing with her church family on the Pigeon River. Pat was born on April 14, 1950, and was raised in Cherokee County, NC, in the small towns of Marble and Andrews. She was the only child of the late James Edwin ‘Skeet’ and Vivian Frances ‘Bit’ Barnett.
While raising her three daughters, Pat was an active participant in the community, pastoring the youth group at her church, participating in the schools’ PTA, and leading their Girl Scout troops. Pat became a non-traditional student in her 40’s and graduated Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC, earning a Master of Education. As an educator, she worked in Cherokee County and Haywood County schools, finishing her career as Director of Exceptional Education at Cherokee Central Schools. Her final years were spent in retirement at her home in Candler, with her partner Ravina, and their two beloved pets, BoBo, their elder rescued dog, and Shadow, a stray who decided to stay.
Pat was a force of nature and never knew a stranger. Her kind nature, curiosity and love of adventure led her to connect with people wherever she was. She loved to cook for others, and could often be found ‘piddlin’ in the kitchen, after which, you knew she’d been there, because she used every dish she could. Pat could tell you about any wildflower in WNC and, for many years, camping was a favorite pastime. As a seamstress, Pat excelled, mastering the craft of smocking and making clothes for her girls, including two wedding dresses. Pat also had a penchant for ‘the art of the deal’, and was always game for a trip to the nearest Goodwill or thrift store, especially the room with the ‘bins’.
Pat leaves behind a legacy of strong faith, love of family, and the importance of being able to laugh at yourself. Pat will be lovingly remembered by her family: her life-partner, Ravina Towe, of Candler; daughter, Patrice Wishon, of Asheville; daughter Sherri Wishon Hill and husband Anthony, of Mills River; daughter Mary Wishon White and husband, Matthew, of Andrews; and grandchildren, Jacob Wishon, of Asheville; Blake Hill, of Addis, LA; Riley and Graham Hill, of Mills River; and Landon, Haydon and Lauren White, of Andrews.
Pat was a lifelong swimmer. She was a trained lifeguard and spent much of her life in or near the water, including the Nantahala River and, even the Amazon. How fitting it is that her last excursion was to the water, with people who loved her and cared for her, and brought her home.
A memorial service will be held at Land of the Sky UCC, in Asheville, on Tuesday, August 8, 2023 at 3:00pm.