XENIA — When a tornado ripped through Xenia in 2000, Pat Felton was there to lead the recovery effort.
When less fortunate children needed Christmas gifts, Pat Felton was there to make sure everyone could celebrate the holiday.
Those are just two of myriad occurrences celebrated about the life of the former Xenia mayor and council member who was laid to rest Feb. 27 during a private funeral ceremony. Felton, 80, died in Hospice of Dayton Feb. 25 after a lengthy illness.
The long-time champion of Xenia spent nearly 20 years on city council, becoming the first elected female mayor in the November 1989 election, and serving as such until 1997. She then served on council from 2000 to 2010 before resigning with a year left in her term due to health issues. She was elected council president four times.
During her time as an elected official, she was a friend to many, and a leader to all.
“When I was on council with her … (whether you) agreed or disagreed with her, you always knew where she stood,” said long-time friend and former council member Jeanne Mills. “She wasn’t rude when she made her point. She (just) made her point. It was never nothing personal, it was always about what was best for the City of Xenia. I don’t know anybody that loved Xenia more than Pat did.”
Felton had a way of leading without seeking out the spotlight.
“She was a cheerleader (for the city) and very private in what she did,” Mills said. “But she was always supporting and encouraging Xenia.”
In addition to her council duties, Felton also served in the following capacities: city representative to the Greene County Regional Planning Commission (2002, 2003, 2006); chair of the Xenia Traffic Commission (2002, 2003, 2006); chair of the Board for Recreation, Arts, and Cultural Activities (2000, 2001, 2004); chair of the City Beautification Commission (2000, 2001); chair of the Loan Trust Committee (2003, 2004, 2005 , 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010); vice chair of the Loan Trust Committee (2002, 2006); city representative on the Chamber Board of Directors (2005, 2007, 2008, 2010); city representative on the Greene County Emergency Preparedness Committee (2008, 2010); chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission (2009); chair of the Pre-treatment Review Committee (2010); chair of the Stormwater Advisory Committee (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010); member of the Economic and Business Development Committee (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009); member of the Wellhead Protection Committee (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008); member of the City/County/Township Committee (2000, 2001); member of the Charter Review Committee (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006); and member of the Court Relocation Committee (2002).
Mills also had a relationship with Felton that transcended city business.
“She was one of my best friends,” Mills said. “Really sad for me. Even though we were miles apart in age, I would go and hang out with her a couple times a week. We had fun.”