Patsy “Pat” Cox Whitehead peacefully slipped into her Savior’s arms on Wednesday, March 1, 2023 at age 80.
Pat was born to the late John Carl Cox and Sarah Dunsmore Cox on December 10, 1942 at the family farm in Independence, Virginia. Growing up on the family farm, Pat gained a special appreciation for animals, agriculture and faith. She became a believer in Jesus and followed him the rest of her life, reflecting his love in the way she treated others, particularly those in need.
Pat met her late husband Howard Whitehead, a Virginia Tech cadet, on a blind date set up by their roommates while Pat was attending Radford College. After graduation, the two married on August 14, 1965, and moved to Alamogordo, New Mexico. This was the first of many assignments while Howard served as an Army officer. During Howard’s Army career, which included service in Vietnam, the pair welcomed their daughter Nicole, who survives them both.
After the family moved to Springfield, Pat began a career with the USDA in the Food Safety and Inspection Service. She retired from public service after 20 years, but her service to her community never ended, even after Howard’s death. She volunteered at the Lamb Center, a ministry to the homeless in Fairfax, Virginia, where she helped with meals and offered a compassionate ear to those who needed someone to listen. She was an active volunteer in her church community wherever she lived, helping with grief counseling and hospitality. She also supported many veterans charities through her life, most recently for the Willing Warriors retreat center in Haymarket. Additionally, she helped administer more than a few charity golf tournaments. She was a skillful golfer, who enjoyed many happy hours on golf courses with her friends.
Her great love for people also included her family who will dearly miss her. She leaves behind her daughter Nicole and son-in-law Patrick Cooley and her grandchildren John, Robert, David and Abigail Cooley. Pat’s final resting place will be near her childhood family farm in Independence.
The family is especially grateful to Pat’s wonderful caregivers who watched over her the last years of her life.
A public memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, March 18th at 2:00 PM, with visitation at 1:00 PM at the Henry Funeral Home in Staunton, VA.