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80 Years Barely Slows Down Community Work


July 14, 2011 by wcobserver


More Remains to be Done

By Jean Collins

​The family and friends of Patty Snell gathered at the Winslow Ball Park on Saturday, July 2, to celebrate Patty’s 80th birthday. It was a glorious celebration of Patty’s life and the life of the Winslow community. A statement from Mayor Randy Jarnagan was read in which he stated, “Patty has contributed countless hours of volunteer work to make Winslow the best small town in Arkansas. She was president of the Meals on Wheels board for years and the meals program is still one of her favorite community projects. She’s been President of the Winslow Community Development Council, President and member of the Ozark Folkways board, president of the Wool and Wheel Spinners Guild as well as running the thrift shop at Our Lady of the Ozarks and the Methodist Church.” He thanked her for “all you’ve done to help make Winslow a place we can all be proud to call home.”

​Patty Snell personifies what is good about a small community, a community that has managed to hang on to its values of friendship, cooperation and helping one another.

When asked how it felt to be 80, Patty said, “It doesn’t seem possible. I still have my mind and most of my body.” She said it is frustrating that she doesn’t have enough energy to do the things she doesn’t want to do but should, so “I’m pretty much down to doing what I like.”

In a recent interview, Patty said that she never had a problem being accepted in Winslow. She doesn’t have much patience for people who say they feel like newcomers or that there’s nothing to do in Winslow. She said, “Well, get out and get involved. Do something for your community. Help your neighbors. There’s just no reason to say there is nothing to do. There’s plenty to do.”​

Patty was born and raised in Los Angeles. She has a B.S. from UCLA and a B.A. from the University of New Orleans. She has taught social studies, English, history and physical education.

In 1964, her husband and father died in the same car accident and she raised her three children, Tim, Sheri, and Chris as a single parent. Patty is proud of her three children and her grandchildren. Raising three children as a single parent was the biggest challenge and adventure of her life, but she says, “They all turned out great. They all have a respect for the land; they’re outdoor people. And they can all cook!”

Patty has traveled all over the place. Her greatest travel adventure was camping for ​38 days in Australia in 1996. She has traveled to Europe and Ireland and England as well. She has three cousins she travels to visit as often as she can.

Patty said she likes living in a safe, friendly community. She likes small towns even if you don’t know what you’re doing, someone else does. She takes walks for exercise and always has someone stopping to offer to help or give her a ride. Patty is proud of her efforts in getting water to Bunyard Road. When asked about the changes she has seen in Winslow she said, “The community didn’t fall apart when the school was closed, but it’s an older community now. We need a senior center with exercise equipment and an open gymnasium for sports and community activities. The Winslow City museum is wonderful. We have a great library. We need a bigger and better city hall.”

​When asked if she had words of wisdom to share, she said, “Always look for the good in life. Don’t be driven by money. Too many people get all wrapped up in making the almighty dollar.  Concentrate on happiness and being a good person and helping people. It all comes back to you.”



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