Ocean Beach 04

Patricia M. Mallette

October 21, 1943 ~ April 13, 2022 (age 78)

Tribute

Patricia M. Mallette, aged 78, died of heart failure on April 13, 2022, in Birmingham, Alabama. She was a resident of Valparaiso, Florida, between 1985 and 2017 when she moved to Niceville, Florida.

Pat was born in Delaware County, Eucha, Oklahoma, on October 21, 1943, to Robert L. Wallace and V. Maxine (Wideman) Wallace.

By age four, Pat had learned to read and to print some words without the advantages of preschool or kindergarten. As a child, she walked to the old Sparks Elementary School in Oklahoma, where her first teacher planted the seed that would eventually lead Pat to also become a teacher. Having attended grades one through eight in Oklahoma, she graduated from North Torrance High School, Torrance, California, in 1961. In 1965, only 7.1 percent of American women had completed four years of college or more, and Pat was among that small percentage. She was awarded a B. A. degree (1965, Western New Mexico University, Silver City, New Mexico) and an M. Ed. degree (1977, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).

Commissioned in the U. S. Navy in August 1965, Pat was stationed at Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida, from 1965 to 1967.

During that tour of duty, her radio call sign was “Mach Two Max” because she was the first female Navy officer to fly at more than Mach Two in the rear seat of an F-4B (Phantom II) and was officially recognized by McDonnell Douglas for this in 1966. She was very proud to be among the 0.26 adult American women to have been commissioned military officers and of being a Vietnam-era veteran.

After leaving the Navy, Pat was a public school teacher in California. Between 1970 and 1980 she taught English as a second language (ESL) to members of the Royal Thai Navy in Thailand, to ESL students at Temple University, and as a Master Instructor to military allied students at the Defense English Language Institute, Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas. She taught ESL to students from more than 40 countries and five continents. Between 1980 and 2002 she was a federal civil service employee of the Department of Defense, having received formal major command recognition. Pat retired from the 53rd Wing, Eglin AFB, Florida with 28 years of combined federal service.

While in high school and college, Pat had learned fluent Spanish both orally and in writing (and read Don Quiote in 16th Century Spanish). She learned to speak Thai while living in Bangkok, Thailand (1970-1973), where her daughter was born. Pat’s travels took her to Laos, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar (Burma), India, Japan, Philippine Islands, Israel, Italy, Vatican City, Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, and most of the 50 U. S. states — she literally circled the Earth.

In 1969 at three bells (3:30 p.m.) aboard the USS Norton Sound, in California, Pat was married for the first time to Edmund B. Miller, and her beautiful daughter issued from that ill-fated union. She married the man with whom she would grow old, Thomas B. Mallette, on New Year’s Eve 1982, in San Antonio. She was proud to be the Grand Diva of All Things Domestic in Maison Mallette.

Tom and Pat soared over the Gulf of Mexico in a hot air balloon, waded the breadth of the Mississippi River at its headwaters, and touched the westernmost and southernmost points of the contiguous 48 states. They enjoyed every moment they shared: the great ones, the sad ones, the easy, and the hard. Cancer took him from her in May 2016.

Pat took great delight in sharing her home, wherever it may have been, with family and friends, and sometimes even strangers. She enjoyed verbal and mental challenges, completing crossword puzzles in ink. She claimed that while teaching ESL she truly learned world geography from her students and the capital city (Ouagadougou) of Burkina Faso (Upper Volta). Having memorized the names of nine planets, as a child, she was dismayed by the downgrading of Pluto to a “dwarf planet” in 2006, and was elated to learn ten years later that a large ninth planet may be orbiting the Sun from the outskirts of our solar system. Through DNA testing, she learned she was 3.1 percent Neanderthal and the rest a typical American heterogeneous mixture. A survivor of open heart surgery (mitral valve repair) in 2002 and member of the “zipper club," Pat was parted from her wisdom teeth, uterus and ovaries, and gall bladder during other surgeries. She dedicated herself to maximizing the width of her life because she had no control over the length.

Pat was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 33 years, Thomas B. Mallette, Jr.; and her older brother, George B. Wallace.

Pat is survived by her daughter Marie M. Nygard; son-in-love Michael T. Nygard; and four granddaughters Anne M. Nygard of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Elizabeth (Lizzy) R. Nygard; Laura L. Nygard; and Sarah C. Nygard, all of Niceville, Florida. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Marilyn M. Wallace of Ash Fork, Arizona, as well as nieces Wendy Wallace Bruun (Steve) and Victoria Katt (Randy) and one nephew George M. Wallace (Sara). Pat’s family and friends regret the loss of this kind lady, who will be remembered for her generous and caring spirit. She leaves a legacy of love and friendship.

In lieu of sympathy cards, she would suggest you write a note ... to your husband, your wife, your son or daughter, your mother or father. Not a text. Not an email. A note. On paper. With a pen. Then put it in an envelope and write the address on the front, attach a stamp to the upper right-hand corner, and mail it.

A celebration of Pat’s life will be held on Saturday, April 30, 2022, at 1 pm, at McLaughlin Twin Cities, 1405 John Sims Parkway E, Niceville, FL 32578. The inurnment with full military honors will be in Fort Barrancas, Pensacola, FL at a later date. In lieu of flowers, those who so wish may contribute in Pat’s memory to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516, or to a charity of their choice.

 

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Services

Celebration of Life
Saturday
April 30, 2022

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
McLaughlin Twin Cities Funeral Home
1405 John Sims Parkway E
Niceville, FL 32578

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