Patricia Carol Shiflett, 79, ‘loved her candy apple red Thunderbird and maintained her knowledge of car mechanics’

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Mrs. Patricia Carol Shiflett, (nee Conley), of Ocean Isle Beach, passed away on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, at the age of 69, at the SECU Hospice House of Brunswick in Bolivia. Pat was born to parents, Leonard and Rita Conley, on October 26, 1946, in Alexandria, Va.

Leonard and Rita met while they were in the Navy and married shortly thereafter. Leonard became a master bricklayer in Northern Virginia, while Rita took a position working for the federal government. Pat fondly remembered snow days when her dad would not have to work. They would play in the snow together and then come inside to warm up and watch Westerns on T.V. Throughout her life, Pat would always remain her Daddy’s girl.

As a teenager, Pat attended Thomas A. Edison High School and befriended a brother of the man who would later become her husband. After dating for three years, she married the love of her life, James L. ‘Twinkle’ Shifflett Jr. In 1972, Twinkle and Pat were blessed with a baby girl, Candace Renee, whom they called Candy. Twinkle was a master mechanic and the family enjoyed going to car shows and showing off their prized candy apple red car. These are some of Pat’s happiest memories and she loved sharing stories of their family’s adventures at the car shows.

Pat’s father served the Lord in many different ways. He had married Rita after something crazy, like three dates. They lived an adventurous life, traveling on a Harley Davidson with their Pekingese tucked inside Rita’s jacket at times. They decided to move from NOVA to Calabash after praying, and then closed eyes, dropping a finger on the map. God must have blessed them in prayer because Leonard was able to serve God there probably more than any other time in his life serving as a Sunday school teacher, fill-in preacher, and music leader for a small church there. For a while, he served as the mayor of Calabash.

After Pat and Twinkle’s marriage ended, Pat left her government job at Fort Belvoir, and she and Candy moved to Ocean Isle Beach to be near her parents. She worked at hotels and timeshares and cleaned condos to make extra money. She enjoyed both her work and her colleagues and kept up with both until she was no longer able.

Pat was a tiny, feisty, little thing whose daddy lovingly call her ‘Shrimp.’ She loved dogs and had several of them during her lifetime. Her Keeshond, Sugar, was her faithful protector and companion until the end, and Pat enjoyed spoiling her. She loved her candy apple red Thunderbird and maintained her knowledge of car mechanics. She was quick to diagnose a car problem and knew if a mechanic was trying to take advantage. She would, without hesitation, set them straight. She was quick-witted and a no-nonsense kind of person. She enjoyed family memories and laughing about family characters.

Pat enjoyed biscuits and gravy at George’s Pancake House in Calabash and was one of his most loyal customers and strongest advertisers. When she became too ill to travel to George’s, she had caretakers and friends bring her biscuits and gravy. She may not have had much of an appetite, but she was always ready for George’s shrimp and anything chocolate.

Pat was preceded in death by Twinkle, Candy and her parents. She has an aunt and uncle on her mom’s side living in Indiana. And while Pat has an aunt, uncles and cousins living in Virginia, her death ends one part of the Conley family line.

The family wishes to thank all those associated with Hospice and Elder Law and Life Care Planning Center. Without Sandy from Hospice and Katie and Attorney Levy from Elder Law, the family would not have peace of mind of Pat’s benevolent care. We also thank Linda and the many caretakers who watched over Pat and Sugar on a daily basis and allowed her to live at home as long as possible. Finally, we thank everyone at SECU Hospice House of Brunswick for their compassionate end-of-life care. The loving environment provided for Pat, her friends and family members made a peaceful and pain-free journey.

At her wishes, she was cremated and her ashes will be scattered on the open seas. This is so fitting with Pat’s love of the ocean and both parents’ service in the U.S. Navy. A memorial for her will be private and will take place in Virginia.

Any expressions of sympathy may be sent to SECU, Hospice House of Brunswick, 955 Mercy Lane SE, Bolivia, NC 28422.

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