Pat Blakeney has been a “driving force” in McDonogh’s Transportation Department for more years than anyone can accurately count. Pat says she first came to McDonogh in “the early 70’s,” and, except for the five years that she and her late husband Hank lived and worked in Ocean City, she was with us until her retirement in November 2015. During all those years, she drove Bus #11 and then Bus #10 for thousands of miles through Baltimore County, picking up many students and making many friends along the way.
Parents and students came to rely on and love “Miss Pat.” Says one sophomore, “Some of her best traits are being herself--being independent, honest, comical, and humble. Every time I got on that bus she made me smile with her good old country music. Miss Pat became a grandmother to us all.” A parent wrote, “‘Miss Pat always remained calm and flexible.
When my son left portions of his belongings on the bus, she would call at night to inform us that she would keep the lost items safe and sound until morning.”
As devoted as she was to driving her bus, Pat also spent time behind the wheel of all sorts of vehicles. She and Hank once operated two Good Humor trucks and five snowball trucks. Pat also drove the train on the Ocean City boardwalk. Now, she spends her days with her daughter and family in Myrtle Beach, where she rides a three-wheeled bike around town. Pat gives new meaning to the song, “On the Road Again.”
In closing, I would like to quote a current seventh grader, “All my worries about school immediately disintegrated the second I stepped on the bus and saw her smile. She’s the best bus driver ever.”
Thank you, Pat, for your selfless service to McDonogh. We wish you “all rights and green lights” in retirement!