Patricia Lee Parker (Pat) Bond (1938–)
Pat Bond of Jacksonville (Pulaski County) served in the Eighty-first, Eighty-second, and Eighty-third Arkansas General Assemblies from 1997 to 2002, representing District 64, which covers part of Pulaski County.
Patricia Lee Parker was born on August 6, 1938, in Gladewater, Texas, to Murray Parker and Lucille A. Lee, who was a professional dancer with Chester Hale Girls, a Broadway dance ensemble that toured nationally and appeared in short Mentone films. In 1942, they moved to Arkansas, settling in Lewisville (Lafayette County), where her grandfather owned Lee Dry Goods Store. She was educated in the public schools of Lewisville and later reflected that “growing up in Lewisville was the kind of experience that you would want every child to have.” In high school, Pat was a cheerleader and a majorette, class president, and a member of the National Honor Society and the school newspaper and yearbook staffs; in addition, she played basketball and acted in class plays and was selected to represent Lewisville High School in the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizens contest.
After graduating from Lewisville High School in 1956, then attending Southern Methodist University for two years, she transferred to the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) in 1958. There, she was vice president of Kappa Kappa Gamma, a feature writer for The Arkansas Traveler, and a member of the editorial staff of the Razorback yearbook and the coordinating committee for student union programs. She received a BSE in secondary education in 1960. She married Tommy Bond, who received his degree in civil engineering. They moved to Little Rock (Pulaski County), where her husband worked at the Arkansas Highway Department, and then later to West Memphis (Crittenden County), where he was city engineer. They moved to Jacksonville in 1966.
Bond focused for a time on raising their three children: Melissa, Kelly, and Will. She was also very active in community service, teaching music in kindergarten; working as a substitute teacher; serving in the Jacksonville Jaycettes and as president of the Junior Auxiliary, president of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), and president of the hospital auxiliary; and working on committees in the Methodist church. Bond also chaired the Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Commission, headed the effort to build the Jacksonville community center, and was co-chair of Jacksonville People with Pride Clean-up Coalition, a citizen committee to address dioxin contamination from the nearby Vertac site. The Bonds owned a map production company, a construction business, and Bond Consulting Engineers, of which she was vice president.
Bond’s first run for office was in 1996 for the District 64 seat in the Arkansas House of Representatives. Representative Mike Wilson, who for twenty-two years represented the district in which Bond lived, approached Bond and informed her that he was not running for reelection and asked her to run for the position. Her family and several people with whom she had done volunteer work assisted on the campaign. Public education and economic development were pillars of her campaign. She defeated her opponent in the Democratic primary election, Ron Phillips, by an overwhelming eighty-three percent (1,369 to 290) and beat Republican Otis Stewart in the general election with fifty-seven percent (3,905 to 2,960).
In 1998, Bond ran for reelection and won the general election against Republican Loyd Harris by sixty-three percent. She then served as vice chair of the Committee on City, County, and Local Affairs during the 1999 session. In 2000, Bond was unopposed for reelection to her third, and, due to term limits, final term in the House of Representatives.
In the 2001 legislative session, Bond and Representative Brenda Gullett passed two bills supported by the Arkansas Nurses Association, one establishing a twenty-three-member commission to study nursing in Arkansas and the other to create a stipend for nurses seeking advanced degrees. She was honored by the Arkansas Kids Count Coalition, the Good Faith Fund, the Pulaski County Medical Society, and the Arkansas Public Health Association, and was named a Grand Champion for Children by the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. Bond promoted legislation (Act 1506 of 2001) to require teaching of visual art and music in the public elementary school curriculum, and the Arkansas Art Educators honored her for Distinguished Service Outside of the Profession.
Representative Bond sponsored and passed legislation (Act 1673 of 2001) that provided the procedures for an Arkansas school district detachment, because Jacksonville was the largest city in Arkansas at that time without its own school district and had little local control in how the schools were managed. She continued to work for a Jacksonville School District, which became a reality in 2016.
Bond ran for the District 29 Senate seat in 2002; however, she lost to former House Speaker John Paul Capps in the Democratic primary (55–45 percent).
After her legislative service, Bond continued being active in the community, including serving on the hospital board, becoming chair of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce Board, serving as chair of the Jacksonville Education Foundation, and running church programs such as the long-range planning committee; she also helped in the funding of Project Wisdom. Her son, Will Bond, was chair of the Arkansas Democratic Party and served in both the Arkansas House of Representatives and the Arkansas Senate.
For additional information:
Bond, Pat. “Education is the Priority.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, November 26, 2002, p. 7B.
Pat Bond video interview by Lindsley Armstrong Smith, February 17, 2006. “Women in the Arkansas General Assembly,” University of Arkansas Women’s Giving Circle and Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics & Society project. David and Barbara Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
Spencer, Christopher. “Nursing Fails to Draw New Generation.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, May 6, 2001, p. 1B.
Lindsley Armstrong Smith and Stephen A. Smith
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
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