Patricia “Pat” Slay King, age 86, met her precious Lord and Savior face to face on Sunday, February 24, 2019. Her daughter was at her side and her family and friends find peace and comfort that her brave battle with lung cancer is over and she is now healthy and whole. Pat was born October 29, 1932 to Harold A. and Nell Myers Slay in Hazlehurst, MS where she lived most of her life. She graduated from Gilfoy School of Nursing in 1953 in Jackson, MS. She returned to Hazlehurst and began her nursing career at Hardy Wilson Memorial Hospital where she lovingly cared for so many residents of Copiah County. She also worked alongside her precious friends, Joyce Rials, Rachel Goodson, and Sue Marx. Her longtime friend and personal physician, Dr. John Long, referred to Pat as the “Florence Nightingale” of Copiah County. Pat was never “off duty” as friends or family would call to get her opinion about their ailments or just to see if she thought they should see a doctor. She also worked as a Public Health Nurse and at Pine Crest Nursing Home. She did private duty for countless friends and family.
Pat loved God and that love was evident to all who met her. She was a faithful servant who graciously shared her love, her time, her food and her talents with all. Up until she suffered a stroke in March, 2018 she faithfully worked at the Bethesda Food Pantry. She also worked with Project Homestead and was a member of the local Cherokee Rose Chapter of the DAR. She was a faithful prayer warrior who started her day with a cup of hot tea, her Bible, prayer list and her devotions. She rejoiced that she witnessed the baptism of her grandchildren, Adam and Angie, and her great-grandchildren, Rileigh and Dylan.
Pat loved animals. Neighbors could hear her calling “Come on…bread time” each day as she threw out bread from her back deck to the birds, squirrels, and ducks. Over the years she took an injured blue bird and a hummingbird to the vet. She even had the broken wing of her pet mallard, Raymond, casted.
Pat was an avid sports fan. She and her late son, Hal, could spout off statistics of their favorite athletes and teams. She was an ardent supporter of her MSU Bulldogs, Dak Prescott, Hunter Renfroe, the Boston Red Sox, and Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Family and friends knew not to call on Saturday or Sunday afternoons when any of her teams were on TV.
She is survived by her daughter, Carol Rhodes and son-in-law, Dusty, of Prairieville, LA; grandchildren Adam Rhodes (Rachel) of Montgomery, TX; Angie Rhodes of Geismar, LA; and Matt King of Lafayette, LA; great-grandchildren Rileigh Rhodes, Dylan Rhodes, Harper Rhodes and Jonathan Beeson; brother Russell Slay of Wesson, brother Jimmy Slay of Crystal Springs, sister Ann Weeks of Wesson, and sister Debbie Nance of Hazlehurst. She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold E. King; son, Hal King; brother Von Slay, and sister Betty Slay Keywood.
Carol and the family want to express their sincere appreciation to all the devoted staff at St. James Place, Hospice of Baton Rouge nurses Suzie and Kat and Chaplain Todd Vickery, Dr. Zachary Bruce, Dr. Michael McCarthy, and Dr. David Hanson of Baton Rouge. Special thanks to Pastor Oren Conner and the members of First Baptist Church of Baton Rouge for their visits, prayers, love and support. Nell and Carl Meriwether and the members of the Doers Sunday School class were so very special to Pat.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to one of the following ministries: Bethesda Food Pantry, 3147 Perrett Rd, Hazlehurst, MS 39083; First Baptist Church of Baton Rouge Clothes Closet, 529 Convention Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802; or The Hospice of Baton Rouge, 3600 Florida Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70806.
Arrangements are being provided by Stringer Funeral Home of Hazlehurst, MS. Visitation will be Friday, March 1, from 4:00pm to 7:00pm and the celebration service will be held at 11 am on Saturday, March 2, at the funeral home. Private interment will follow at the King Family Cemetery.