Douglass Patterson was a vibrant leader who served many roles in her church and throughout the community, being the first female Senior Warden at Galilee Church and the first female Chair of the Board of Directors of Sentara Hospitals - Norfolk. She was also a devoted wife, mother and friend whose infectious laughter, cheerful smile and love of dancing would light up a room.
Douglass contracted Parkinson’s Disease at age 50 in 1988. The disease did not dampen her spirit but rather, strengthened her faith and gave her a love for the awesome power of prayer. She helped develop a prayer ministry to pray for persons in need of healing and encouraged others to pray for God’s healing and direction in their lives and other persons in need. She firmly believed that God hears our prayers and while not always in accord with personal agendas, answers each one in His own time and fashion.