Patt Borom, 105, formerly of Salado passes away
Flora Mackey “Patt” Borom, of Dallas and formerly of Salado, one of the first women lawyers in Texas, died at age 105 on September 2, 2005.
She was three years old when the Wright brothers took their first flight. At nine she heard the first American radio broadcast. She was 12 when the Titanic sank and 20 when women won the right to vote. When penicillin was discovered, she was 28. During her lifetime there were 19 U.S. Presidents.
She was born Flora Mackay Turner on May 29, 1900, in Mexico, Missouri. Her forebears included James Mackay, an early explorer of the Missouri River, whose map of the area was given to Lewis and Clark by President Thomas Jefferson at the outset of their expedition in 1804.
As a child she toured with her newspaperman father when he interviewed Mark Twain, evangelist Billy Sunday, and prohibitionist Carrie Nation.
“My father always interviewed Twain while he was in bed, because Twain wouldn’t get up until nightfall,” Borom told the Salado Village Voice in 1991 for a feature story about her 50 years as an attorney in Texas.
“He (Twain) was like the Pied Piper,” Borom told the Salado Village Voice. “Children flocked around him to hear his stories.”
She married James Forrest Widener in 1922, and the couple moved from Saint Louis to Dallas with their three young children in 1932.
Borom recalled in 1991 that “I sold my radio for $30 for the ticket to Dallas to join my husband.”
The family settled in Oak Cliff, and Flora became active in the Parent-Teachers Association and the Hillcrest Baptist Church.
Eventually, she decided to pursue the dream of a degree in law and to that end marketed tickets to the 1936 Centennial Exposition in order to fund her law education at SMU’s evening school.
She was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1941 and was sworn in by Federal Judge Sarah T. Hughes. Her husband passed away a year later, in 1942. Entering the law profession in a man’s world, she took her husband’s pet name for her, “Patsy,” and became Patt Widener, Attorneyat-Law. She was a partner in the law firm of Haney, Aiken, and Widener until she formed her own company, Labor Relations Consultants. She also worked with the War Labor Board during World War II.
In 1950 she married James H. Borom, and the two operated their real estate business in Irving for over 20 years, until 1979, when they moved to Salado. Patt lived here until returning to Dallas in 1998 after being widowed a second time.
She is survived by her three children, James Forrest Widener II of Irving, Gloria Pace Cardwell, of Cedar Hill, and Richard Andrew Widener, of Irving, six grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and one great-greatgrandchild.
Memorial services were held at Ben F. Brown Funeral Home in Irving.