Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


October 31, 2013

Patricia Lee Steward Willhite Goodnight

Patricia Lee Steward Willhite Goodnight finally won her eight-year battle with recurrent breast cancer by going to her Heavenly Home with a new healthy body on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013.

She was born to Ethel Clara Jones Steward O'Rear and Carl Pierce Steward in Portland, Ore. on Aug. 19, 1934. They lived in many places, but did most of her growing up in Rock Springs, Wyo. before moving to Anchorage, Alaska in 1954 with her dad.

While in Alaska, she met and married Clarence A. Willhite and had three children. She was a very active member of the Southern Baptist Church and worked for many years for the State of Alaska in the Department of Fish and Game, Health Department and Department of Transportation. One of her beloved hobbies was ceramics. She became a certified Duncan instructor, had her own kiln and shared her talents with many others. She especially loved working with the unique Alaskan Clay.

She “retired” to Arizona where she went to work for America West Airlines so she could enjoy traveling. It was there she met and married Jack Goodnight and she continued her ceramics while enjoying traveling frequently.

After her breast cancer metastasized to her bones and lungs eight years ago, she moved to Corsicana so she could be close to family and receive treatments. She could no longer work with ceramics due to the dust, but she didn't let her creative spirit be stifled. She began making beaded jewelry. When her kids gave her a glass jewelry making class for Christmas one year, she started her love affair with a new medium. She was happiest when she was creating and giving away. She always put others before herself.

She passed from this life to the arms of Jesus with the same grace, dignity and selflessness that she lived her life, always putting others before herself. She often asked her caregivers if they needed a pillow, a blanket, or to be sure and get some rest. So very typical of the kind of person she was.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a younger sister, Maxine Harter Hawkins; her husband Jack Goodnight and a great-granddaughter, Morgan Davis.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Vicki and Joe Sims of Corsicana, her daughter and son-in-law, Bonnie and Merle Shugart of Baton Rouge, La., her son and daughter-in-law Scott and Allison Willhite of Seattle, Wash.; grandchildren Amanda Shugart, Andrew and Heather Shugart, Kristi and Joe Chandler, Aaron Sims and Kyle McAfee; great-granddaughters Alex Davis and Reagan Shugart; sister and brother-in-law Carla and Donald Plessman of Casper, Wyo.; many loving nieces, nephews, cousins and great nieces and nephews.

Her sweet, loving spirit and presence will be missed by many, but she awaits us in Heaven.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013 at Northside Baptist Church with Paster Rick Lamb officiating.

In lieu of flowers, she requested donations to Northside Baptist Church building fund or music ministry or The American Cancer Society.

An online guest book is available at

Arrangements by Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home.

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