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In Memoriam: Patricia Davis-Wiley | February 26, 1949 – January 23, 2023

In Memoriam: Patricia Davis-Wiley

Patricia Davis-Wiley, fondly known as “Pattie,” passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, January 23rd, 2023. Pattie was born to Eleanore and Richard Petty Davis on February 26th, 1949 in Long Beach, California. With both parents serving careers in the United States Navy, Pattie and her family lived in several states across the United States including Minnesota, Illinois, and California.

Pattie was educated in parochial schools, graduating with honors from the Academy at San Luis Rey, California. Her earlier degrees from the University of California, the Université of Montpellier (France), and the University of Houston were the initial steps in her vocation as an educator of educators. Most of her professional life was dedicated to her passion, teaching.

“Pattie, known to students and faculty alike as PDW, was outgoing, energetic and always quick to offer assistance,” said Sherry Bell, Director of Literacy Initiatives and Professor of Special Education and a colleague of Pattie’s. “Proficient in several languages, she was the face of UTK’s Word Languages program for many years. She will be missed by colleagues and many students she has mentored over the years.”

Prior to coming to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, she taught teacher education classes at the University of Houston, French at Baylor University, and French and Spanish in three high schools in Texas. She taught and was eventually a tenured professor at the UT for 40 years. She actively and enthusiastically presented at international, national, regional, and state professional organizations in both World Languages and ESL.

Pattie was the Founding Editor of the peer-reviewed TFLTA Journal, was Tennessee’s state representative to NNELL (National Network for Early Language Learning), and tech specialist for ACTFL’s LLC SIG. Past international outreach efforts included a visiting professorship twice a year for six years to in-service Korean elementary school teachers, followed by a semester teaching a graduate Linguistics class at Chungcheong National University of Education in South Korea, and a winter sojourn as a visiting L2 scholar at Jilin University in Changchun, China.

She was the recipient of numerous awards including three UT awards for teaching and service: the UT Alumni Outstanding Teacher Award, the Chancellor’s L. R. Hesler Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service to the University of Tennessee, and the Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Faculty Advisor.

“PDW,” as she was affectionately known, was a southern California native who enjoyed the water (she was a PADI divemaster). She was a world traveler, gourmet cook, linguist (she spoke three languages), and was an enthusiastic student of world cultures. Pattie loved music and was a talented organist, playing for services at Mission San Luis Rey in California and more recently at Saint John XXIII University Church in Knoxville.

Teaching was Pattie’s passion, but her family was always first in her heart. She married Stephen Wiley while in Houston and from that time Pattie and Steve lived life to its fullest for 42 years. Pattie also held her extended family close including numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

A Wake will be held on Thursday, February 2nd from 6:00-8:00pm at St. John XXIII University Parish, 1710 Melrose Place, Knoxville. The Funeral Mass is there on Friday, February 3rd at 6:00pm with Paulist Father Donald Andrie and Paulist Father John Ardis officiating. Private Interment is at The Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In lieu of flowers, a donation in Pattie’s memory may be made to either the Paulist Fathers at or St. Mary’s Legacy Clinic. View and sign Pattie’s online obituary and guestbook at