In Loving Memory

Patricia Tanna King, d. December 11, 2018



In Loving Memory

April 26, 1931 – December 11, 2018

Patricia Tanna King, a long-time resident of Fairhope, Alabama, died Tuesday, December 11, 2018. She was 87.

Patricia Ann Tanna was born in Quincy, Illinois, the oldest child of Frank and Lillian Thompson Tanna. As a child, she moved with her parents, sister Geraldine and brother Timothy to many places throughout the south as her father managed ice cream plants in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and finally in Alabama.  She often reflected on her nomadic early life with delight, enjoying the memories of adventures in new cities and her always-centered life at the Catholic schools she attended. By 1947, the family settled permanently in Sylacauga, Alabama, Patricia made good friends, graduated from the town’s high school in 1949, and attended Sacred Heart College in Cullman, Alabama.

Patricia Tanna and Henry Mitchell King, Jr. were married in 1952 and lived in nearby Gantt’s Quarry where the family-owned business, the Alabama Marble Company, quarried and finished the world’s most beautiful and finest quality white marble. They were the parents of three daughters by the time they moved, in 1964 to south Alabama, where in 1966 they established permanent roots in Battles Wharf and then Fairhope. 

Patricia worked as a substitute teacher, and after her husband’s death, became secretary and then bookkeeper at Fairhope Elementary School for the next 25 years. Her organizational skills and mathematics acumen served her well, but it was the association with teachers, staff and the children that made her experience so enriching. Grown men have been known to come up to her saying “Hey Mrs. King, do you remember me?” Many of the friends who were with her during her last days were those she made at school. 

After retiring, Patricia served as a docent at the Saenger Theater, Gulf Coast Exploreum and the Mobile Museum of Art, taking special interest in exhibits about the visual and fiber arts. Patricia loved fabric and design; she took particular pleasure in using rickrack, trims, and tassels, and her collection of perfectly categorized buttons is legendary. As a young girl, she made doll clothes complete with hats and shoes, advanced to creating beautiful clothes for herself and clothing for her daughters and their dolls, and then began designing small purses and evening bags. There are Patricia King creations all over the southland, with so many commenting, “I still use that little bag your Mother made for me.”

Patricia found great comfort in the Catholic community and attended St. Lawrence Catholic Church for 52 years where she served on the Welcome Committee, as a Eucharist Minister, and for over 30 years on the Finance Council. The Women of the Word religious study group were her good friends and provided much support and many prayers. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Lillian Thompson Tanna, her husband Henry Mitchell King, Jr., her sister Geraldine Tanna Dasher, and her brother Timothy Paul Tanna. Patricia is survived by her daughters, Catherine King, Harriet King Ingraham (Frederick), Florence King (Richard Rose) of Athens, Georgia, brother-in-law, H. B. Cleveland, and her Tanna family nieces and nephews Margaret Dasher, Glenn Dasher (Eva), Judy Dasher Leggett (Robert), and Charles Dasher. She is also survived by her King family nieces Antonia “Toni” King Baria, Marjorie King Jones, Lila Virginia Cleveland, her dear cousins, great nieces and nephews, and other relatives.

Patricia exuded an aura of refined graciousness and decorum. She will be remembered as a warm and caring friend who was generous with her attention and counsel. She delighted in her friends and acquaintances, many of whom have been such a part of her life in these later years. She was the recipient of great kindnesses throughout her life, was thankful for them, and tried to help others along the way. And she loved a tea party!

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, December 17, 2018 at 2:00 pm in the sanctuary at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Fairhope. Visitation will be held at 1:00 pm in the St. Lawrence Room. Interment will follow the Mass at Memory Gardens of Fairhope. A reception follows at the church.

 Memorial donations in Patricia King’s memory may be made to St. Michael High School Guardian Angel Program, to help Catholic students attend the school, 11732 Higbee Road, Fairhope, AL 36532. Funeral arrangements are by Hughes Funeral Home and Crematory. Expressions of condolence for the family may be made at


  1. Stacie Court

    In her final years, with the possibke exception of Jesus, Pat had no better friends than Catherine, Harriet, and Florence. God bless you all, now and always.


    David and Stacie Court

  2. Terry Beasley

    What a beautiful Southern Lady! I was privileged to have worked with Mrs. King at Fairhope Elementary School; and am grateful for her years of service to the children of Fairhope. May God’s love be with the family now and in the days to come.

    • Patricia L Hiti

      We all loved Pat she was a beautiful lady. May God embrace her in his arms. Love Pat and Joe

  3. R Smitherman

    She was my ‘other mother’ when I was in school. Always interesting and interested. She made you feel like you were the most fascinating person she knew. And she had a wonderful, joy-filled laugh! I think I will miss that the most. Rest in peace, dear lady.

  4. Kay Haynes

    I was privileged to know Pat King while working at Fairhope Elementary School in the early 1990’s. She was so charming and kind, the epitome of a Southern Lady. I know she will be missed by many. Prayers for all the family.

  5. Beverly Ellzey

    Pat was a charming southern lady. I have enjoyed getting to know her over the past 10 years or so, and especially enjoyed my visits to her home with her lovely daughters. I will miss her very much.

  6. Jeff and Karen Nutter

    It is sad reading about the loss of Mrs. Patricia King. I know the 3 daughters and extended families feel a this great loss. Karen and I can only pray that the Great Comforter touches each of these and heal this huge hole in their hearts. We have each of you in our prayers. Jeff and Karen Nutter

  7. Joanne Henry

    May God bless you and your sisters, Florence. Your mother sounds like a fascinating lady and one would love to have met. Undoubtedly you inherited your fabulous flair with clothes from her! We pray that eternal rest be granted to your dear mother and peace to her devoted daughters. You are all in our prayers. Joanne & Dave

  8. Melissa Pershina

    I worked with Pat at Fairhope Elementary school for 10 years. It was widely acknowledged that she was the glue that held the school together. Her manner was so refined and gracious that one of the teachers joked that she hoped to have her children spend summers with Pat in etiquette training. Always available and resourceful to help with any problem, she was a Renaissance woman. She was the perfect exemplar of a Catholic woman, and her three daughters have followed in her footsteps. Her loss is a loss foe our whole community.

  9. Mary Louise & Wil Baker

    It is with great sadness that I read of Pat’s death. She was the epitome of graciousness, filled with intelligence and good humor, and possesed of such poise and charm! Those qualities and much more she passed on to her beautiful daughters! The absence of her presence will be greatly felt.

  10. Casey Casebolt

    I never had the opportunity to meet Pat personally, but having worked a few years with her wonderful daughter Harriet, I have no reason to doubt all the wonderful things being said herein by those who did know her personally. When Harriet and I would meet for business meetings or trade shows, my first question would be “how is mom?”. That always generated an immediate radiant smile from Harriet and then the latest update. She was obviously a wonderful inspiration to all who knew and met her and she will certainly be a marvelous addition to the populace up Yonder!!! God Bless and Keep Her in his Arms Forever!!!
    And wonderful memories will always remain with her three remarkable, loving daughters and other family.

    Casey Casebolt
    Shawnee, Kansas.


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