Patricia Ann McCallum was born on August 19, 1941 to the union of Mary Jane McCallum and Garland McCallum in Baltimore, MD. She was the youngest of three children. She accepted Christ at the age of twelve and was baptized at Faith Baptist Church in Baltimore, MD. Pat always excelled academically. She graduated from Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School in 1959 with a variety of interests, awards and a multitude of friends. She filled her youthful days with Girl Scout and Sunday School activities. A lover of music, she received advanced piano training at Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. Pat attended Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education in 1963. Pat taught elementary school in the Baltimore Public School System for two years before continuing her education at Kent State University in Ohio where she earned a Master of Education in 1966.
After graduation, she worked in Ohio for a short time before moving to Detroit where she worked for the State of Michigan as a vocational rehab counselor. In Detroit, Pat joined New Prospect Missionary Baptist Church. Many of her most valued activities took focus there. She taught Sunday School at New Prospect for over thirty years and was an active member of the Trustee Ministry for over twenty years. In 1968, Pat met Alex Pickens, Jr. at a friend’s party. That initial meeting led to a wonderful relationship that would blossom into their marriage on September 12, 1970. In 1974, they began a family with the birth of their first son Alex III (Trei). In 1978, they welcomed another son, Seth Watson. Above all, Pat was a devoted mother, giving her children firm foundations of faith, love, and family values.
Alex and Pat were also business partners. They purchased Brightmoor General Medical Center in 1983, where she served as Chief Operating Officer until her death. Her contribution to medical care in the community did not go unnoticed. She was named Phenomenal Partner of Medicine in 2005 by the Southfield Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Pat served on the Board of the Haiti Outreach Mission. She was former commissioner to the Detroit Historical Commission, an NAACP lifetime member, and active in Jack and Jill of America, Inc. She was a recipient of countless awards and citations for her dedicated service, philanthropy, and desire to “leave things better than she found them.”
Pat and Alex were inveterate travelers. They journeyed together to all corners of the world; from Vienna to Vietnam; from Acapulco to Abidjan; from Machu Picchu to Macau and from Kathmandu to Timbuktu. They both valued these traveling experiences and often shared their adventures through stories, pictures and gifts to family and friends. Patricia M. Pickens was a wife, mother, nana, sister, daughter, friend, manager, teacher, scholar, soror and citizen of the world. Above all, she was truly the example of a Christian. She loved deeply and was deeply loved.
Preceding her in death is her father, Garland Penn McCallum. She leaves to cherish her memory: her husband, Dr. Alex Pickens, Jr., her sons, Rev. Alex Pickens III (Naudia) and Rev. Seth Watson Pickens (Isis); three grandchildren, Catherine, Seth Isaiah and Christian; her mother, Mary Jane McCallum; one sister, Alice Cooke (Jesse); one brother, Nathaniel Fleshman (Geraldine); four nieces, Cynthia Lacewell (Ronald), Aimee Johnson, Monique Johnson, and Sucre Woodley (Freddie); five nephews, Anthony Fleshman (Donna), Kofi Johnson, Todd Ledbetter (Sislena); Wallace Johnson, Jr., Wayne Fleshman; two other sisters-in-law, Betty Johnson (Wallace), Daisy Johnson, and myriad friends, relatives and admirers.