Patricia Burkhart Smith worked with the St. Tammany News Banner for several years in the 1980's, and turned out some important newspaper features on the environment and the people of St. Tammany Parish.
In the 1990's she moved to The Woodlands, TX, and started her own newspaper, worked with a local hospital's public information office, and was a medical reporter for a local television station. She also interviewed numerous celebrities and did medical features for People magazine.
She subsequently moved to northwest Washington state and provided expert editing services for numerous books prior to publication.
She spent most of her life in New Orleans. According to her obituary, Pat was a National Merit Scholar, and graduated from Ben Franklin High School in New Orleans in 1967, then studied Fashion Design and English at Washington University in St. Louis.
"Pat was highly talented and creative, whether she was designing clothing, jewelry, stained glass, writing or producing content for screenplays, books, film, or news media, as well as being a book editor and coach.
"She was an award winning journalist and medical reporter and freelance writer and editor. She spoke Italian fluently, and loved languages, and enjoyed gardening, films, rockhounding and gourmet food."
In 1987 she led a group of News-Banner reporters in putting together a special section on St. Tammany Parish environmental issues. It was a well-received publication that called upon the talents of many high-school students for their contributions and concerns.
In 1993 Pat published a book called "101 Uses for Really Old Fruitcake." I supplied the cartoons to go along with the suggested uses. She was in Houston putting the book together, and I was drawing the cartoons in Covington and faxing them to her. It was an interesting project.
Here is an article that appeared in the newspaper announcing a book signing for the new book.
One of her writing projects in the Woodlands was a book in collaboration with Sonya Fitzpatrick, an interesting person who was able to telepathically communicate with animals. That book was "What the Animals Tell Me: The Secrets of Communicating with Your Pet," and it was well-received in a number of circles.
Her other books included several for the "Dummies" series, including "Alzheimer's & Dementia for Dummies" with Michael Wasserman. Tapping her own extensive expertise in clothes design, she wrote "Making Your Clothes Fit," which was appreciated by those who chose to modify already-owned clothing rather than buy new garments.
Then there was the book "Flipping Houses" by Tim W. Lenihan and Patricia Burkhart Smith, a project that tied into the growing popularity of buying old houses, rehabilitating them, and selling them for a profit.
She also took part in a book entitled "Christian Family Guide to Total Health" with Muriel K. MacFarlane and Eugene Kalnitsky, as well as an informative guide book on Wellness.
I drove to the Woodlands in the early 1990's to visit her newspaper office there. It was there in her newspaper office that I wrote the last chapter in my novel "The Gafferty Perspective," with her providing suggestions and comments about how to make it better. She was good at editing and writing, and she helped many people put together better books as a result.
She was a great believer in continuing professional development, attending writer's conferences and seminars.
Here is a picture of her (second from left) with friends at a 2017 meeting at Leonardo's in Mandeville.
This photo shows her with friends at Columbia Landing in Covington.