Patrice Dickey taught a continuing education class at Emory University called, Get the Life You Love.
By Michelle E. Shaw
In her popular Emory University continuing education class, Get the Life You Love, Patrice Dickey taught what she knew.
Her honesty and transparency is likely what endeared students to her and kept them flocking to her class.
“Many people can teach a concept but Patrice actually lived what she taught and you come from a very different perspective when you do that,” said Peggy Crowe, program manager for Emory Continuing Education. “We ran her class three or four times a year and looking back, her message was timeless. We never had a problem filling her class.”
Patrice Jane Dickey, of Avondale Estates, died Sept. 7 at Hospice Atlanta, from complications of metastatic breast cancer. She was 56. A memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. on Oct. 13 at Oakhurst Presbyterian Church, Decatur. A.S. Turner & Sons was in charge of arrangements.
Ms. Dickey began teaching at Emory in 1999 and continued to teach through the six-week July session this year, even after learning of her advanced medical condition, Mrs. Crowe said.
“She was so invested in her students,” she said. “There were people already registered and she said she wanted to provide them the instruction and experience they were expecting.”
In 2006, Ms. Dickey self-published her first book, “Back to the Garden: Getting from Shadow to Joy,” and her sister, Susan B. Dickey, hopes to posthumously release her second book, which chronicles her cancer journey.
Susan Dickey said her sister didn’t necessarily set out to be a writer, but her life experiences gave her great material for the task. Patrice Dickey earned a journalism degree from the University of North Carolina in 1977. Not long after graduation, she made her way to Atlanta, her “city of choice,” her sister said.
“It was the vibe of the city,” Susan Dickey said of her sister’s decision to move to Atlanta. “It is a very cool city.”
Once here, Patrice Dickey worked for the Red Cross and Dale Carnegie Training before she decided to become an entrepreneur. She also worked as a yoga instructor and had her own public relations and consulting firm.
It was that varied work experience that helped her connect with students she taught in the continuing education setting and in private life coaching sessions. On her website, Ms. Dickey told visitors, “Through my life of triumphs and defeats, I’ve picked myself up from crushing family tragedy, life-threatening illness, a rocky romantic road and the business challenges of a successful solo entrepreneur since 1989, and now I serve as Your Best Life Coach, helping you create your best life.”
“She wanted to see people be their best and every time I talked to her, she was encouraging me to do something,” Mrs. Crowe said. “She was always pulling people along, to be a little better, so they could understand themselves a little better.”
In addition to her sister, Ms. Dickey is survived by a niece, an aunt and several cousins.
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