Pat Gass was brought up under a strict but loving father as they moved to Fernandina Beach, when she was a 10 year old. Her father became rector of St Peter’s Episcopal Church.
Their family then only visited Jacksonville two times per year. A Christmas pageant and she thinks something similar in the Spring. “We didn’t shop there. If we couldn’t get it locally we didn’t need it,” says Pat.
She attended Berea College in Kentucky by a winning essay for admission. Also, like most of the other men and women students, she worked for her tuition. But, after a great first year, she chose marriage.
Her first job was running an off-set printing press. Over the years she has worked at Hardee Brothers Hardware, Southern Touch Store, was a settlement clerk for Rayonier, and spent eight years working for Val Schweck at the port authority. She has a variety of skils and is not afraid of hard work.
Pat has two brothers and had one sister who was tragically killed in a head-on collision on May 20, 2012. Her sister was dedicated to this community, so running for the commission is one way of helping fulfill both of their dreams to make Fernandina a better place.
Married to Billy Gass for over 37 years, they have raised four children. Billy maintains St Michael’s Church here in Fernandina and Pat helps out her sons at Kelley’s Courtyard, which seems to be thriving in spite of this economy.
The commission is composed of five persons, collectively responsible for running Fernandina Beaach and setting the tone for its future. As perhaps a preparation for this assignment Pat has been one of five members of the Fernandina Beach Board of Adjustment for the last eighteen years.
When this interview started, Pat told me “don’t ask me a question if you don’t want to hear the truth.”
So in closing I asked her how she sees herself? Who is she? She said, “I have a lot of common sense, and I’m honest to a fault.”
Thank you Pat Gass. It is good to know you.
Editor’s Note: We thank Don Parker, area poet, writer, and author for compiling profiles on candidates for city commission. These profiles capture on a more personal level, the personalities, interests, and characteristics of all of our candidates. Thank you Don for your help, and for a job well done!
October 20, 2012 1:46 p.m.