Pat Waggoner is this week's winner of the High's Hero Award. Pat has been a friend, mentor and influence in my life since I was very young when he and his family moved in five houses down on Regent Drive. Our families have been connected in many ways ever since.
Pat is a native of Nashville. He is a 1969 graduate of Hillwood High School and a 1973 graduate of Lipscomb University. Pat met his wife, Elizabeth, while at Lipscomb.
Pat and Elizabeth have three children. Phil has served as a youth minister and will be doing some mission work in El Salvador for the next few years. Martha is an elementary teacher in Wilson County who recently got married. Paula is their oldest daughter. She, her husband Matt and their two beautiful girls are active members at Brentwood Hills. Daniel, their oldest son, died in Pat's arms, at the age of 17, on August 24, 1995 while jogging with Pat on Anchorage Drive. Daniel was my brother Chad's best friend.
After graduating from Lipscomb, Pat served at Genesco Inc. for 21 years as an auditor, cash management director, financial operations director, risk manager, and retirement trust investment manager. Pat was down-sized from Genesco Inc. on April 30, 1995, just a few months before Daniel died. He later served as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Folk-Jordan Real Estate Co. Inc. Pat currently serves as a real estate agent with Coldwell-Banker.
Pat has served as an elder at Crieve Hall Church of Christ since February, 1999. On Sunday mornings he teaches an adult class. On Wednesday nights he teaches 5th and 6th grade boys. He leads singing and preaches once a month at Metro’s Criminal Justice Center on 2nd Avenue. He teaches a Bible Class at Metro’s ORC facility off Harding Place. He serves as commissioner of a church softball league and is assistant commissioner of a church basketball league. He is an active member of the South Nashville Civitan Club and South Nashville Exchange Club. He has also been very involved with Nashville Inner-City Ministry as a bus driver.
Pat is one of the most humble, kind men I have ever known. He is also one of the busiest people I know. Whenever anyone tells me how busy I am I remind them of Pat.
I have never known Pat to say a negative thing about anyone. He always seems to find the best in people. He is also one of the most giving people I have ever known. I would bet that Pat has made as much money in his life as anyone you could name but I would also bet he's given away as much or more than anyone you could name. I can remember a number of inner-city kids over the years that Pat would bring home and mentor alongside his own kids.
I will never forget the way Pat handled himself after Daniel's death. Even at the funeral home during visitation I was struck with how he was living out his faith, knowing that casket was not the end. From what I understand he even went back to his former boss that had downsized him at Genesco and thanked him - thanked him for firing him - because it had allowed him to spend those precious months with Daniel before he died.
Pat Waggoner is a hero to me and many others.