Women in History: Mayor Pat Fribis has long history of service


By Bill Milligan
For the Call

Sunset Hills Mayor Pat Fribis has been associated with city government for 35 of her 39 years as a resident.

Pat Fribis

Her first involvement in politics was when she went door-to-door to gather signatures on a petition to convince city officials to build the first Sunset Hills city pool in the 1980s. At that time, Fribis took her children to Kennedy Recreation Complex or the South County YMCA to swim.

“So, I met with my neighbors and decided it would be very nice to have a pool in our community, then went door-to-door,” she said.

Since then, she’s gotten hooked into one more volunteer commitment after the other. She was named a Lindbergh Leader for Lindbergh Schools. Once the pool was built, she served on the Pool Advisory Board, then on the Parks and Recreation Board, then the Board of Aldermen for eight years and, of course, her current office of mayor.

Fribis called her work on behalf of Sunset Hills interesting. She listens to comments people make about things that are going on in the city and about proposed developments.

“Every day is different,” she said. “As an elected official, you learn you have to listen to people. You have to listen to residents — they’re really the owners of the city. You have to please as many of them as you can, but you can’t please them all. You have to look for what is best for the entire city and the future.”

Outside of City Hall, Fribis is a world traveler.

She and her husband, Philip Denton, just returned from a trip to Israel and Jordan with their church. But one of their most unique trips was a road trip last year on Old Route 66.

“We went on all the old roads, stayed at old hotels, ate at diners, stayed at the old wigwam hotel,” Fribis said.

It’s nice to see how people across the globe are both different and the same, she said.

But Fribis admits she loves being at home as well.

“We like to garden,” she said. “And we like to do things around the house.”