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Patricia Cole Ferullo

A trusted friend muses of Pat…

In her wonderful poem, The Summer Day, Mary Oliver asks:

“Tell me, what else should I have done?

“Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

“Tell me what you plan to do

“With your one wild and precious life?”

LANDRUM–Patricia Cole Ferullo died too soon at 90 (7/18/21) at her home in Landrum with trusted caregivers and family by her side.

But early on, she made it clear what she planned to do with her one wild and very precious life.

She surprised!

From her paintings which so often opened our eyes to what lay in front of our noses, to her up and buying a new house with a raised deck and a dog yard when most of us were looking for assisted living arrangements, Pat never stopped amazing us. One Saturday morning she took off with friends for Hickory to buy a BMW from a used car lot, but she changed her mind and wound up getting a Ford from Stott’s dealership in Tryon instead.

If nothing else, Pat was all-of-a-sudden. But sensible, e.g., the Ford.

She lived that way, and she painted that way. “Just dance into it,” she would often tell her students while waving and weaving in front of her current work. Then she would attack the piece with a jolt of blue or orange. (But rarely red.) 

Pat was: Surprising. Free. Bright. Witty. Kind. Good looking. Intense. Curious. A wild child. A compassionate friend. A teacher of art and life. And so much more.

But those who knew her would simply say: Pat was splendid! 

Tell me, what else should she have done?

Born in the mountains of West Virginia, her formative years were spent in Daytona Beach, Florida where she developed a strong connection with the world of sea, sand, and the whole of nature. It was in Daytona Beach as a high school student that she was given the opportunity to study watercolor painting with Eliot O’Hara, noted art professor at Stetson University, and portrait painting in oils with Henry Saltzman. 

After receiving a BA degree in Fine Art and Commercial Art from Florida State University, she studied drawing, painting and silver jewelry design at the Instituto de Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, while maintaining her studio in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where she held classes, workshops, and taught painting at the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art and in Adult Education. During this time, she came under the strong influence of Abstract Expressionism, developing her own style of painting as she shared her work through commissions and exhibits.

After she returned to live in Daytona Beach in the mid-seventies, she took courses in architecture, specifically focusing on passive solar home design, subsequently receiving a First Place Award in the Florida Solar Energy Center’s Passive Solar Residential Design Competition in 1980. Responding to the interest at that time in passive solar design, she built up a successful Residential Design business.

In 1987 she moved to Saluda, NC where she worked for the esteemed architect Holland Brady in Tryon as a draftsperson, doing selected renderings in pen and ink. After eight years, she retired to concentrate on her painting in her home studio in Saluda.

Moving down the mountain to Tryon brought more involvement in the art community. She served on the Board of Directors of the Upstairs Gallery, taught classes and workshops at Isothermal Community College, at Tryon Painters and Sculptors and presented workshops and classes in her private studio. 

In 2002, Pat moved to a small fishing village in Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The change brought a deeper appreciation of the civilizations she was moving among and the power of their unique art. She also came to recognize and love the magical light of the Italian shore. 

Returning to Tryon in 2008 she resumed teaching and painting in her studio/classroom/gallery close to the Tryon Fine Art Center and downtown Tryon. Her passion followed her to the end. 

Pat was preceded in death by her parents, Richard and Frances Cole, as well as her husband, Dominick Ferullo, who was also active in the Tryon art community. She is survived by her daughters, Judy Clower (Mike) of Daytona Beach, FL, and Kathryn Dyndul (Andrew) of De Leon Springs, FL, grandchildren Alexis Dyndul of Dallas, TX and Matthew Dyndul of St. Petersburg, FL as well as her faithful canine companion Mojo and many wonderful friends.

From one of those dear friends: “For those of us who were privileged to have had Pat as a friend, we can speak of her deep wisdom, her visionary and ever-evolving views, her curiosity concerning all aspects of life, her compassionate heart and her forgiving nature. We will miss her welcoming smile, her discernment when we sought her advice, and her competence in handling difficult issues. Her abilities and talents were far-reaching, as was the positive influence she radiated to all around her.” 

Her family wishes to express gratitude to the many faithful friends who showed such care for her, as well as for the support given her family during this difficult time. We also want to thank her wonderful caregivers, who gave her a sense of being loved and protected even as she battled the disease that quickly took her. In her memory, contributions are welcomed to Kindred Hospice of Spartanburg, or any number of causes that were dear to her and strike your heart, including the establishments of the art community of Tryon, and Foothills Humane Society.

An online guest register is available at www.mcfarlandfuneralchapel.com

McFarland Funeral Chapel 

Tryon, NC