Patricia Dier died peacefully on January 1 surrounded by her family and loyal dog Lexie at her home in Santa Rosa Beach. She was 93.
Patricia was born in Monett, Mo. on February 15, 1925 to parents Alice Burnham Meador and Daniel Burton Meador, and was the second of three children.
When she was a teenager, Patricia and her family moved to Baton Rouge, La. There, Patricia excelled in academics and in music, and was valedictorian of the Central High School Class of 1942. It was in high school when she met her future husband, B.J. She and B.J. were active members of the Baptist Student Union at Louisiana State University, and in 1947 Patricia graduated with a B.A. in music. Patricia and B.J. were married in Baton Rouge that same year.
After college, Patricia and B.J. attended the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. B.J. then followed his calling to become a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force. Alongside her husband, Patricia cheerfully shared her musical talents in Christian ministry for over three decades as a pianist at chapels and churches wherever the family was stationed.
In 1975 when B.J. retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the USAF at Eglin, the Diers built their home under the oaks in Santa Rosa Beach, where Patricia would spend her final days. Patricia played piano at numerous churches in the area during her lifetime including First Baptist Church of Fort Walton Beach, Village Baptist Church in Destin, Destin United Methodist Church, Santa Rosa Beach Baptist Mission, Darlington Baptist Church and most recently Bluewater Community Church in Niceville, where she retired as church pianist just last year at the age of 92.
The Northwest Florida Daily News published a feature story about Patricia’s musical life in 2017. You can view the article here: https://www.nwfdailynews.com/news/20170716/gifted-hands-as-other-memories-fade-pianist-still-serves-god Patricia was always known for her kind and humble nature, and for her devotion to her family and to the church.
Patricia is survived by her five children, Mary D. Hauth, of Santa Rosa Beach; Rebecca D. Hart, also of Santa Rosa Beach; Joe Dier (Kim), of Starkville, Miss.; William Dier (Tracey), of Rockledge, Fla.; and Andrew Dier (Virgilio Barco), of Bogotá, Colombia; five grandchildren: Patricia, Carrie, Patrick, Reed and Kevin; and two great-grandchildren, Jordan and Holiday. She is preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, B.J.; a brother, Daniel Meador; and a sister, Carolyn Graham.
The Dier family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to longtime caregiver, Yolande Akins. The family also recognizes the outstanding care and service provided by Emerald Coast Hospice.
A celebration of life will be held at Bluewater Community Church at 1 pm on Saturday, January 19. Patricia will then be buried alongside her husband and son-in-law at Gulf Cemetery in Santa Rosa Beach. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Emerald Coast Hospice (www.kindredhealthcare.com) and Partners for Madagascar (www.partners4madagascar.org).