An older woman wearing glasses and a colorful scarf.

Pat Suitt

Interview with Pat Suitt

Pat Suitt is a long-time Dallas Mu Phi and I have known her a long time. But, as I might say with many of our members, I never knew her very well; ships passing by the goody table you might say if don’t mind mixing metaphors, and hearing her at the piano at some of our meetings. So I asked her for an interview for this newsletter. Interviews with members are not new. I was doing at least one at year for a while, sometimes two. But I haven’t done any in long time and hope to get back to doing some more as I think it helps us to get to know each other better.  See some more member interviews on our website.

Pat Suitt grew up in Dallas and attended SMU while living at home. She married at 20 and then was off the family payroll to finish – and pay for – her music degree. She has some fond memories of SMU – especially ones involving Dr. Lloyd Pfautsch, who was choral director there for many years, and his wife Edie, who was a Mu Phi alumni member and liaison to the SMU Mu Chi chapter. Edie sometimes invited the Mu Chi collegiates to her home for tea or other chapter events, like initiations.  Pat played violin as well as piano and played violin in the SMU orchestra. Favorite performances were the great choral works conducted by Dr. Pfautsch. Choral music has always played a prominent part in Pat’s life.

She has one son, Jay, from her first marriage. She became a teacher as Jay entered school – first in pre-school, where he was, then moving up grade by grade. She taught classroom music at Burnett and class piano at Dunbar elementary schools. She also taught private piano at home and at Greenhill and in South Dallas. Along the way she returned to North Texas and got her Master’s degree in Piano Performance. She still has a few students and enjoys private teaching as a part of her life.

She met her second husband, Charles, at a class at Highland Park Presbyterian Church. Charles was a singer in several choruses over the years – the Dallas Symphony Chorus, Plano Civic Chorus and at several other churches where they both sang – Highland Park Methodist and Preston Hollow Presbyterian. Some of their favorite memories are the performances of these wonderful choral groups, especially those conducted by David R. Davidson.

This past few years Pat was at the side of Charles as he became ill and died. Losing a loved one is always a time of upheaval and change. She has been grateful for the help of Jay, who is presently living with her, and Charles’ daughters who have been very kind. One of the daughters has a 5 year old child – so Pat is a step-grandmother. Our recent tornado ripped through her neighborhood but missed her by just a little bit. Life in continuing and Pat is getting out again.

She enjoys gardening indoors and out, and reading – periodicals, mysteries and books of all kind. She likes fabrics and used to sew.  Maybe she will take that up again. Who knows?  I asked what she is most proud of – and she answered – finishing graduate school. Anyone who has gone back to school while maintaining another full life knows what she means.  A Hurrah! for that, Pat.