August 14, 2017 Published in Editorials

Remembering Patsy Editorial

Patricia S. “Patsy” Ticer, former Mayor of and State Senator for Alexandria, died last week at the age of 82. Alexandria has lost an outstanding community and political leader whose style and commitment marked our city for nearly 50 years.

Patsy married the late John T. “Jack” Ticer, son of a former mayor of Alexandria and, himself, a member of Alexandria’s City Council in the 1950’s and 1960’s. They started a family that included four children. She worked in real estate but also served her community in many volunteer positions. She was active in PTA’s and in her church, St. Paul’s Episcopal, on S. Pitt Street in Old Town, where she became the first women to hold the position of Senior Warden in 1978. She served on and chaired many boards and commissions, both non-profit and governmental.

She moved into elective office in the 1980’s serving on City Council as a Member and Vice Mayor. In 1991 she was elected Mayor, the first woman to serve in that capacity in Alexandria’s history. In 1995 she was elected to the State Senate where she served for four terms retiring in 2011.

Patsy cared about many issues and worked hard on them. She was deeply involved in improving the lives of all children but particularly about those who were at risk. She cared mightily about land conservation and historic preservation. She believed that good planning made communities better places in which to live. She also believed that communities had a right and the ability to determine their own futures and that all members of those communities had a right to participate in the deliberations. Her work on City Council and in the State Senate demonstrated these beliefs. She was a quiet but committed Christian whose views helped propel her church to a central place of giving and sharing in the Alexandria community.

Patsy was also an embodiment of courtesy and understanding in political life. She strove to understand the issues with which she had to deal and was comfortable in looking at all sides in the discussion. She did not shrink from confrontations as the Governor of Virginia and Jack Kent Cooke found out when the Washington Redskins tried to “grab” a large part of the former Potomac Yard for a football stadium. Although she did not “suffer fools gladly” she conducted herself with skill and grace in whatever arena she was operating.

Alexandria was blessed to have had Patsy dwelling here for so long and to have had the benefit of her multitude of contributions. We are all the better for her many efforts and it is very right that we remember now not only what she accomplished but the remarkable ways in which she accomplished it.

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