ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – In 1956, Pat Wicker and her college sweetheart Harold moved back to Abilene after graduating from Hardin Simmons University (HSU). While Harold Wicker continued his master’s studies at HSU, Pat Wicker dove headfirst into the education field where she thrived for more than 40 years.
“She’s just busy!… I have never ever heard her say, ‘I’m tired,'” said Pat’s Wicker youngest daughter Tamela Henington.
“I guess I’m just self-motivated to keep busy!” Wicker remarked.
Wicker began teaching at the now-closed Central Elementary and moved on to Johnston Elementary, but when her two daughters were born, the Wickers moved out to the Wylie area.
“And people said, You’re moving your daughters to the country? And now that is the place to be,” Wicker recalled.
At that time, there was no such thing as early education for kindergarten and pre-k age children in public schools. In Wylie, Wicker became director of an up-and-coming school movement in the area known as Montessori.
“Montessori is opening the eyes to see more than just one thing,” explained Wicker.
Although the school was private and fairly small, it operated for around five years. After leaving that position, she taught another few decades at Abilene ISD and Wylie ISD through the early 90s. At that point, she retired, if you can call it that.
“Retirement’s wonderful too if you keep busy!” Wicker shared.
“She gives 150 percent to every organization she’s ever been a part of,” Henington said.
Wicker has kept herself busy serving on the Hardin Simmons Development Board, The Grace Museum, The Women’s Club, The Red Hat Society and the Eastern Star. While it may seem like her schedule is full, those are only a portion of the clubs she’s served on. Wicker continues to be involved in the community even now as she turns 90.
“She’s just raised that bar pretty high,” Henington expressed.
Wickers’s open-minded approach to life is something she hopes some of her students might have picked up on. Wicker added that she thoroughly enjoys seeing her former students succeeding and loving life.
“I hope through my involvement I may have touched some lives along the way,” shared Wicker.
When she isn’t catching up with former students or sitting through board meetings, she still finds time to have a little fun.
“I play bridge about three times a week and I play 42 on Thursday nights and Mahjong every Monday,” Wicker explained.
On top of all this, she also participates in golf, tennis and line dancing.
“I just hope I’m able to do half as much as she does at the age of 90 but I know I won’t… That’s just remarkable!” expressed Henington.
Wicker is among the top four nominees for the KTAB Remarkable women competition, submitted by her daughter Tamela Henington. Henington said she entered her mother for her inspiring determination, positive outlook on life and independence at any age.