Patricia "Pat" Laflin
Pat has lived
in the Coachella Valley since 1950.
She met her husband, Ben Laflin, a valley native, when they were
Berkeley. Following graduation they came to the valley to join the
business begun by Ben’s father in 1912. Ben’s mother came in 1916
and Pat learned about the valley’s early days from the Laflins.
with her husband and his parents to develop Laflin Date Gardens, now
known as Oasis Date Gardens, a 250 acre date farm south of Thermal
the years they grew grapes and vegetable crops, but ultimately
dates. Pat became the advertising and business part of the
and planned and prepared feature exhibits at the Riverside County
Festival for fifteen years, developed retail and wholesale programs
active in California Women for Agriculture, being their “Farmer of
1987. She was president of the CV chapter of CWA and she
which resulted in the removal of infested imported dates from
supermarket shelves across the country.
Pat served the
community in many ways. She was a teacher in Thermal Union
School District and a teacher and administrator in Coachella Valley
School District for a total of 23 years. She was a Trustee of John
Hospital, served on the Administrative Committee that brought
State San Bernardino University campus to CV, is an Elder in St.
Community Presbyterian Church, was Moderator of the Presbytery of
Riverside and Moderator of the Synod of Southern California and
served many years of the Board of Directors of the CV Historical
and on the
committee that brought the Date Museum into existence. She
annual publication of the historical society for 13 years and
society’s coffee table book entitled Coachella Valley,
History . In 2008 she authored Indio, for Arcadia
Images of America series.
Pat has been
honored locally by the Desert Sun Newspaper in 1999 as one of their
Legends” series personalities, in 2001 by the Public Record as their
“Spirit of the Valley” awardee and in 2004 by the Desert Post Weekly
as one of their eight extraordinary valley women. In 2005 she
received the Athena
Award from the
Indio Chamber of Commerce.
Pat has been able to accompany Ben on consulting trips to date
growing areas of the world and on agricultural exchanges to China
and the USSR. They now live in Bermuda Dunes and are the parents of
five children and twelve grandchildren.