Dr. Patricia Ann Gentry Droppleman, 85, passed away on Dec. 24 in Tampa, Fla., with her family at her side.
A funeral Mass for Dr. Droppleman was celebrated on July 17 at St. John XXIII University Parish on the University of Tennessee-Knoxville campus, with Father Michael Kallock, CSP, serving as celebrant.
She was born June 12, 1935, in Richmond, Va., to Alton D. Gentry and Mary E. Lutz. Her parents predeceased her, as did her beloved brother, Jack, and her infant brother, Joey.
Dr. Droppleman became a registered nurse and later received her bachelor’s degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. After marrying and starting a family, she continued her formal education, earning a master’s degrees in child development and nursing, and a Ph.D. in child development from the University of Tennessee.
She was a professor in the College of Nursing at UT-Knoxville for more than 30 years, where she touched the lives of countless students and collaborated with numerous beloved colleagues, who became an extended family. From Appalachia to Africa, she led her students to provide health care to underserved populations. Love and compassion radiated from her as she worked to enrich the lives of others.
While pursuing her education and her career, Dr. Droppleman also raised three girls seamlessly, juggling carpools, swim practices, and track meets while writing her dissertation and working full time.
She was a devoted friend, consummate hostess, talented cook, avid reader, enthusiastic world traveler, lover of jazz music, ardent fan of the Lady Vols basketball team, devout Catholic, and fervent Democrat. Above all, she was a kind and loving mother who adored her children, grandchildren, sons-in-law, and nieces.
She is survived by daughters Susan Duff (John) of Tampa, Fla., Beth Droppleman (Wayne Grovenstein) of Augusta, Ga., and Jackie Gose (Richard) of Vienna, Va.; and grandchildren Tim, Emma, and Colby Duff, Isabelle and Charlotte Grovenstein, and Taylor, Ellen, Lukas, and Rae Gose.
Memorial donations in Dr. Droppleman’s name may be made to the University of Tennessee Foundation Inc. to benefit the Droppleman Scholarship Endowment. Please send your donation (payable to UTFI, memo Patricia Gentry Droppleman Scholarship) to the UT College of Nursing, Attention: Diannah Eagle, 1200 Volunteer Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37996.