Patty Browskey was unforgettable. A woman blessed with unbridled enthusiasm, energy, optimism and love of people, her circle of friends and acquaintances is still immense. She died Aug. 13, 2011 at Bowers Hospice House following a valiant battle against cancer.
Known affectionately as “Patty” all her life, Nina Patricia Lusk was born on Feb. 7, 1942, in Beckley. The younger of two children, her parents were the late Eugene Cecil Lusk and Virginia Faye Nuckols. Patty’s mother would eventually marry Freddie Thorne, whom Patty loved as a father. Her brother, Eugene Cecil Lusk Jr., passed away in 2011 after a short illness. Her stepsister, Pam Thorne Cook, lives in Roanoke, Va.
Patty married Bill Browskey in 1960. They have one child, a daughter Kimberly Fayann, who is married to Gary Fairchild. Bill and Kim have established the Patty Browskey Memorial Fund at the Beckley Area Foundation as a lasting tribute to this wife, mother and friend. Half of the income generated by the fund shall go to the Woodrow Wilson High School Class of 1960 Scholarship Fund which is also administered by BAF. The remaining income will be distributed to Hospice of Southern West Virginia.
Patty developed lasting friendships even as a student. She was an avid fan of Woodrow Wilson High School sports and WVU football and basketball. She started taking dance classes at a very young age and won many jitterbug dance contests at Little Beaver Lake and Teen Town. Her zest for life touched everything she did.
Kim noted that Patty was “the greatest mom in the world. She was active in all aspects of my life. She wanted to do everything the most honest and best way possible.”
A proud graduate of WWHS, she was very active in planning the Class of ‘60 reunions and building their endowed scholarship fund at BAF. In 1987, she was a member of the reunion committee that organized a tribute dinner for retired principal C.G. Peregoy. They raised $5,946 at the dinner and contributed an additional $8,797 to establish a “need and merit based” scholarship fund to assist graduating Woodrow students pursue higher education. The market value of the fund is now over $79,000 and has awarded 32 scholarships.
Patty valued education; she enrolled at Concord about the same time her daughter Kim went to WVU. Patty earned a bachelor’s degree in education and taught at Stratton before entering the real estate field. She was co-owner of Coldwell Banker-Raleigh Real Estate Center. A very successful Realtor, she won many awards.
She retired from the real estate industry in 1995 so she could devote full attention to helping her husband Bill and the Lorenz family with The Char. Bill and Patty carried on the tradition of personal service and excellent food that Ann and Wally Lorenz made an integral part of this much loved local restaurant. The Browskeys sold The Char in 2003.
The family worshiped at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church where Patty served on the Vestry and was a Senior Warden. She was the doting “Grandma Patty” to grandchildren Kelli and Doss Howell. Kelli is the mother of great-grandchild, Colin. Doss and his wife Amy have a son, Gavin.
“We always knew when Patty was in the room,” commented Susan Landis, executive director of BAF. “It was more than her distinctive voice; she somehow personified the warmth and straightforward unvarnished sincerity of a West Virginia welcome. It is so fitting that this fund will extend a helping hand to Raleigh County residents at both ends of the typical life continuum.”
Additional contributions in any amount may be made in memory of Patty. Make checks payable to BAF-Patty Browskey Fund and mail to Beckley Area Foundation, 129 Main St., Suite 203, Beckley, WV 25801.