The RNLI saves lives at sea.

Barbara Joan Smith

Also known as: Pat.

Picture of Barbara Joan Smith.

My Perfect Friend

I first met Pat some 20 years ago, she was already into her eighties, a very refined polite but somewhat shy lady. It was through her husband Eric who each day would pass by my house on his way to pick up the newspaper, I would ask him how pat was today and I would always get the same answer. Puffing away on his pipe and in a confident manner he would simply say “She’s Lovely” and of course he was right.

As Eric became more and more frail, I became more involved with their everyday life, even more so when Eric died. I spent endless hours with Pat reminiscing over her life.

Barbara Joan smith, simply known as Pat, Her maiden name was Patterson
And she simply said that’s what my family called me.

She was born in the borough of wandsworth, and grew up in Southfields, the family where presbertirians and it was at Sunday school where she first met Eric he was a little younger than her and was put in her charge. There was a bond between them from the beginning, Eric worked for the gas board and Pat went to college to become a teacher. It was a long courtship. Then of course the Second World War started, Eric was enlisted into the RAF and was being sent up to Scotland, so in 1940 they got married. Pat was given a teaching job at Clarendon school in Ashford
Where they moved to, however she would see little of Eric over the next five years. But this was a marriage made in heaven and they where utterly devoted to each other.

Pats other love was Cornwall, and it was there in Probus where they bought a little cottage and spent many a happy holiday making life long friends in Sharon and Reg Gardening was a passion for Pat, as many of you know and have admired her garden. I would take her to the garden center and she knew exactly what plant she wanted and where she was going to put it. She also knew how she was going to grow it, with kindness and love and I knew she would watch and care for each and everyone until they bloomed the smell and colors where a marvel.
Knitting and embroidery was another one of pats hobbies and I was totally amazed how this woman could pick up a ball of wool and knit a jumper, without a knitting pattern, and once it was finished it would fit her perfectly, something I never achieved.
Pat was also a great reader, she loved murder mystery crime novels, and the odd romance, but most of all she was a crossword enthusiast I took great pleasure in telling everyone about Pats 100th birthday and how everyday she completed the telegraph crossword puzzle.

Pat continued to live a very independent life, in her 100th year still cooking her fairy cakes and making marmalade, she never complained made any demands or judged you. She always gave constructive advice and always made you feel special. I feel very privileged to have been in Pat’s life if only for a short time. Pat will be sorely missed. But greater than the sorrow from her death is the joy that she spread in her life. Just as she guided each of her students through school, her wisdom and love will continue to guide each one of us throughout our lives. And Pat you will always be my perfect Friend.

Added by: maggie Barrett on 22 May 2015.

Send to a Friend

Charity information


The RNLI is a charity that provides a 24-hour lifesaving service around the UK and Republic of Ireland.

As a charity, the RNLI relies on your support to carry on saving lives at sea.

Add your tributes

If you would like to add a tribute to Barbara Joan Smith, please use the link below and follow the instructions provided.

Additional links

Make a donation

Make a donation in memory of your loved one or friend.