Born November 11, 1937, in Detroit, Michigan to Elmer and Fay Evelyn (McAllister) Sparks. Pat had a tragedy in her early years when her father died in a boating accident when she was nine months old. Her father had been a salesman for Singer Sewing Machine Co. Her mother also worked for Singer as a seamstress and made much of her clothing as she grew up. Pat was an only child. She lived with her mother in Ferndale, Michigan and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1955. She desired to study nursing, but they had no money for schooling upon graduation. She attended Drayton Avenue Presbyterian Church as she grew up. Pat hired in Burroughs Corporation as a secretary and later transferred within Burroughs as an engineering librarian. Note of interest: her mother was born in Cherokee Nation in Carmen, Oklahoma before Oklahoma became a state, and her grandparents were original “sooners” who staked out a claim for land in Oklahoma, coming from Kansas before the official time to claim land.
Born December 30, 1935, in Detroit, Michigan to Joseph and Dorothy (Beyer) Durkin. The older of two children (sister Janet). They grew up in Detroit, Michigan. Tom’s interests were in sports, playing basketball, baseball, football, hockey, and tennis. Tom’s father worked for Burroughs Corporation as a scheduler. His mother was a housewife. Tom’s fraternal grandfather emigrated from Ireland, and his maternal grandfather emigrated from Germany. Tom attended Mt. Hope Congressional Church as he grew up. He graduated from Mackenzie High school in 1954 and hired in Burroughs Corporation as a mail boy, transferring to the accounting department in 1955. While at Burroughs he attended Walsh Institute in the evenings and on Saturdays, studying accounting and business law; graduating in 1957. Upon graduation, he took a leave of absence to join the Michigan Army National Guard in the new six-month program and was trained as an Army surveyor.
Tom and Pat Durkin:
Tom and Pat met at Burroughs when Tom was designing a form to request books and Pat was the librarian who needed to fill out the forms. After Tom’s return from active duty with the Army they got engaged and were married at Drayton Avenue Presbyterian Church on March 15, 1958. They have four children, the oldest, David was born on August 3, 1960, second was Diane, born on August 28, 1962, third was Julie, born on August 6, 1966, and fourth was Patti born on July 30, 1969. They have ten grandchildren and one great-grandson.
After marriage, they lived in the Detroit area until 1968, then moved to Plymouth, Michigan until 1995 when they moved to Florida. While in Plymouth they were members of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Livonia, Michigan. Pat worked for several doctors while in Plymouth, and upon moving to Florida she was a volunteer at Baptist Medical Center-Beaches in the emergency room for several years. Her hobbies include bridge with the neighbors.
Tom worked in several accounting departments at Burroughs before being transferred into the corporate tax department in 1966, where he specialized in sales, use, and property taxes until retirement. He was an active volunteer in the Burroughs credit union, serving on the Supervisory Committee and Board of Directors for over 30 years. He was active with the Burroughs United Fund Drive. After moving to Florida his hobbies have been golf, tennis, and genealogy. He has been on the finance committee for the Fairfield Association and on the Board of Directors of the Club Cottage sub-association until last year. He served 21 years as a volunteer at the Players, and has been active as a volunteer at the Junior Players since its inception in 2006.
In 1988, when daughter Diane and her husband moved to Jacksonville Beach they set in motion the eventual move for Tom and Pat to relocate to this area in 1995. They had been attending Crosswater church in Nocatee when they learned that Pastor George had accepted the call to be our pastor here at PVBC. They decided to move with him! They joined our church family on September 16, 2018, and have been regulars ever since. They can often be spotted sitting with friends Faith Martin and Bobbie League.
Tom and Pat have a 9 year old Shih Tzu named Tucker, whom they rescued at the age of seven months from the Humane Society in Bainbridge Georgia. He is an important part of the family.
Welcome, Tom and Pat Durkin! You are an important part of our family here at PVBC and we thank you for the opportunity to get to know you better!
Respectfully submitted by
Crystal D. Baer