By Ardyce Curl

Patty Playford

Patty Pattison Playford grew up attending a Methodist church in Dowagiac in what she says was a religiously conservative family. Her uncle was a Methodist minister in Indiana.

“I started hearing about People’s in the 1960s,” Patty said.  “I noted some members were active in the Civil Rights Movement as I was.

“But with responsibilities of work and family I never got around to exploring Unitarianism,” she added.

Yet as an adult she had not felt comfortable with traditional religious concepts. So she left the Methodist Church in the early 1970s.

It was much later that she came to People’s.

“A mother of a high school friend of mine was a member of People’s,” Patty said. “In 1997 I started bringing her to church and decided to become a member myself.”

Patty is especially passionate about social concerns and politics.

“My concerns include the availability of education for lower income children,” she said. “I feel an education is the doorway to solve many economic woes.”

She enjoys reading. One of her favorite authors is the late Rev. Dr. Forrest Church, longtime minister of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City.

Another favorite author is the late Molly Ivins, journalist and columnist who specialized in Texas politics and culture. Patty said she rereads Ivins’ books often.

She also enjoys quilting.


Patty, now 79, is retired from the State of Michigan. Through the years she has been an LPN, pharmacy technician and job counselor.  She and her husband Avery have three children. Their son David is an accountant who lives in Washington state with his partner. Their daughter Judy and her husband Jeff Way live in the Kalamazoo area. They have two children: Ethan, a graduate of University of Michigan, and Emma who will attend MSU this fall. A third son, James lives and works in the Atlanta, Georgia area.

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