Chatham woman remembered as good mom, nurse following apparent murder-suicide

Chatham woman remembered as good mom, nurse following apparent murder-suicide
Patricia Towler (Source: Caswell Family Medical Group)

GRETNA, Va. (WDBJ7) - Communities across state lines are mourning the death of a Chatham woman Thursday, killed in an apparent murder-suicide.

According to the Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office, Patricia Towler died Wednesday from a gunshot wound. Her husband, Dane Towler, died with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Their 14-month-old son, Eben, was unharmed. All three were in a car that crashed into the yard of a home on West Gretna Road, across from the Dairy Queen, Wednesday morning.

WDBJ7 spoke briefly with Patricia Towler's father over the phone Thursday. He said he was thankful for the first responders who attended to the scene in Gretna Wednesday and was also thankful for the people who have been praying for his family.

Thursday, posts about Patricia or "Tricia" Towler's kindness and heartbroken messages about her death flooded Facebook.

The Caswell Family Medical Group posted about Towler, saying she had worked there for 18 years.

They shared a picture of her and wrote:

"For 18 years, she blessed CFMC with a level of commitment and passion to community health that can only be described as exemplary. Beginning as a staff nurse and later as Clinical Operations Manager, Tricia approached each day with a tenacity for the highest standard of quality care, but more than that: an innate desire to make the world a better a place for everyone. She gave tirelessly of herself to family, coworkers and patients, often going above and beyond to pass on the purest of Godly love.

"She used a quote from Patch Adams in her email signature: 'You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.” No other words could better describe the power from which Patricia’s presence brought healing that far exceeded anything traditional medicine could do alone.'

"Her commitment to excellence in how healthcare is delivered was evident in the way she mentored all CFMC’s staff, especially her nurses, to perform at a level that exceeded their own expectations.

"Her life represents a level of humanity that all should strive for.

"CFMC extends the deepest of sympathies to her family, especially those that were so clearly closest to her heart and that she was so very proud of: her two sons, Joshua and Eben.

"We all have been made better because of you, Tricia. We will always love you."

Towler's church leadership spent time with her family Thursday, planning her funeral which is slated for this weekend.

Administrative Pastor Lee Ewing at the White Oak Worship Center in Blairs said Towler was a positive, good Christian woman.

He said she was always at church Sundays and Wednesdays and often helped with Impact Girls, a worship group for elementary school girls. Ewing called her a positive influence who was quick with a smile, one they'll remember as they plan her funeral.

In her obituary, posted to the Norris Funeral Home website, it said, "Patricia loved the Lord, her family, and her work family. She loved being a nurse and was an amazing mother to her children."

She is survived by many family members including her two sons, her parents, siblings, a step daughter, nieces and nephews.

The family asked for donations for their baby boy Eben in lieu of flowers.

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