Personalities Plus — Pat Willis

By Loretta Kos

Pat Willis is manager of the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce. She likes dogs, ice cream and “topping that little hill on the Lovington highway.”

Name: Pat Willis
Job: Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce Manager
Age: 54, July 22, 1948
Hometown: Ballinger, Texas
Family: Jack, 55, husband, was a teacher at Portales High School for 26 years; two children, Kim, 35 and Tony, 33; a daughter-in-law, Shannon, 29; two granddaughters, Jordyn, 9, and Alexys, 3; and a grandson, Michael, 5.

What was your most embarrassing moment? Several years ago, I was employed by First Federal Savings and Loan (now First Bank). I was working as a teller when a customer came in and was making a large withdrawal. He related to me that he was buying his wife a stone. I immediately replied “a diamond.” He said “Well, no, a headstone. She died three months ago.” In my embarrassment I got the giggles.

Tell us how you met your husband: I was a freshman at Eastern New Mexico University living in DeBaca Hall. A friend from my dorm asked me to go with her to Curry Hall to visit one of her friends from her high school. Jack was a resident assistant at Curry Hall and was working the desk that night. We started dating the next week.

Tell us a story about your mom: My mom is a very special mother. She not only lovingly raised four of her own children but she was employed at the Christian Children’s Home for 13 years as a single house parent. She was known as “Grandma Pearl” and was the mother to well over 100 children during her 13 years. She would often load up 15 children in a van and take off for a trip to the lake or a vacation to Texas. One would think that after that many children my mom, at age of 77, would be tired. But for the past seven years she has volunteered as a foster grandparent serving in the Portales schools.

What do you think about Portales? Portales is the place I can’t wait to get back to when I take a trip. There is no way to describe that feeling I have when topping that little hill on the Lovington highway, seeing the lights of Portales at night after a visit to Midland, Texas, (to see the grandkids). The people of Portales are wonderful, the climate is great (not too hot or too cold), and there are so many things to do that I need more than 24 hours each day.

What is your favorite taste? That would have to be ice cream (any flavor). Why else would I be a lifetime member of Weight Watchers?

Tell us about your pets: I have two dogs — Burt, a 16-year-old Shih-Tzu, and Jacque, a 9-month-old Bichon Frise. Burt is a sweet, loving guy who shouldn’t have to put up with the antics of a puppy. Jacque does things we would have punished our children for and we think it is cute.