For the last few weeks there was a lot of conversation about Pat Brister’s health, with her cancer possibly returning. Today it was reported that the former parish president and political leader passed away. Arrangements are being finalized. The press release is below.
It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that the family of Patricia P. Brister announces her passing Monday, February 3, 2020. Pat Brister (73), was a loving mother, wife, sister, and grandmother, as well as a successful business owner, volunteer, diplomat, pioneering woman in State and National Republican politics, St. Tammany Parish Councilmember, and most recently the St. Tammany Parish President.
Parish President Brister was a role model, mentor, and trailblazer for women in Louisiana politics. Among her numerous talents was the ability to bridge diverse ideologies and collaborate to bring about the best solutions and improvements for the people of St. Tammany Parish, and the State of Louisiana. Her tireless spirit and unstoppable energy made her leadership infectious to all who encountered her. Her style, grace, confidence, and focused determination were among the qualities people admired and loved, especially by her family, those she worked with, her long-time friends and even those knew her from afar.
Brister leaves behind: her daughter Jill Beck Heebe (Clark), sons Matt Beck, Mark Beck, and Ken Brister, as well as her beloved grandchildren Ryan, Ross, Leigh, Kay, Beck, Davis, Libby, William, and Henry. She is preceded in death by her loving husband Joe, after 40 years of marriage, and her late-son Steven Brister.
Arrangements for a public memorial service are being finalized and will be announced in the coming days.
Some of Brister’s accomplishments are below.
Patricia P. Brister dedicated a great deal of her life and energy to leadership and service. From humble beginnings organizing her children’s school PTA, Pat went on to serve in leadership positions in nonprofits, government, diplomacy and finance. Pat held several roles with the Republican Party on a local, state and national level. Most notably, she was National Committee Woman to the Republic National Committee, and served as Chairman of the Louisiana Republican Party. Because of that deep love for her party, coupled with her powerful combination of grace and grit, President George W. Bush selected Pat to be the Louisiana Chair of his 2004 re-election campaign. President Bush’s respect for Pat led him to appoint her to serve as his representative as Ambassador to the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women. Pat used that important platform to advocate for women around the globe and their God-given rights to freedom and equality. President Bush’s trust in her, coupled with a Presidential appointment, also provided Pat the opportunity to serve on the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas Board of Directors — a Board she continued to serve until her passing.
Pat served on over 20 volunteer Boards and Commissions in St. Tammany and beyond, but no public service meant more to her than her time leading St. Tammany Parish. As a Councilwoman first, and ultimately two-term Parish President, Pat dedicated the last decade of her life to tireless work on behalf of St. Tammany and its people. Her legacy of service to St. Tammany will not be forgotten, and her most proud accomplishment of creating Safe Haven, a powerful resource for mental health in our region, will long be a testimony to her love for, and commitment to, the most vulnerable among us.