Forty-one years ago, the pair made a promise to each other. In a couple of months, they’ll finally fulfill their dream.
The Miners have been community fixtures in Plano for more than a quarter-century. From serving on the City Council to leadership roles in civic and philanthropic organizations, they’ve left their mark on the city they love.
But they’ve decided it’s time for the next chapter.
In March, the Miners will depart for a new life in Angela’s native Greece.
“Finally, it’s time for Angela and I to take time for ourselves,” Pat said in a social media post announcing the decision. “Our family has grown up and begun their own lives, and it’s time for the two of us to go live ours.”
The Miners first met in Athens through a mutual friend in 1980. At the time, he was working in broadcast media for the U.S. Air Force, and Angela and her family lived there. After dating a few months, Angela agreed to marry Pat under one condition: When Pat retired, they would return to live in Greece.
“It was supposed to be when he retired from the military, and that was in 1996,” Angela jokes.
For 15 years, Angela was a military spouse, volunteering on the bases they called home. But when Pat retired from the service after 20 years, Greece wasn’t their next destination. Instead, it was Texas.
At the time, Pat had two job offers, one in California and the other working for Dallas ISD. Since Dallas was closer to Iowa, where his parents live, Texas won out over California and Greece.
As he was transitioning to his new job, Pat rented an apartment in Dallas while Angela stayed with his parents. When Pat explored the Metroplex for a permanent home, he stumbled upon Plano, falling in love with the city.
“I said: ‘You’ve got to see this place. It’s incredible,’” he recalls telling Angela and their two daughters.
They settled in Plano, and Pat worked with Dallas schools for six years before moving to a job with the Social Security Administration for the next 18 years.
Angela’s first foray into Plano community service was in May 1997; a friend asked her to serve as PTA treasurer for the upcoming school year.
“So here I am, a foreigner not knowing that much about PTA,” she recalls. “We went to Greece for the summer, and I kept thinking about it.”
The job was the first of many in service to local schools. Angela eventually became president of the Plano PTA Council, an umbrella group of 69 PTAs with more than 30,000 members.
“I loved being the president for two years,” Angela says. “Being involved in the PTA is how I got to know the community.”
Those connections helped her become involved in other organizations, including the Women’s Auxiliary, Children’s Hospital, the Plano Symphony and the Plano Education Foundation, where she served on the board.
“We’re always going to want to come back to the States, but more so, to Plano”
After stepping down as PTA president, Angela planned to take a little time to relax. Then the Timber Brooks Estates homeowner’s association asked her to be its president.
“The community is so welcoming. We’re a big city, but the feeling of those who are heavily involved is like we are a small city, a small community,” she says. “That’s what I love about Plano, and that’s what I’m going to miss when we move.”
During the same time, Pat had become more involved with zoning and development issues. He joined the Plano Developers Council before being elected to the City Council in May 2008.
Pat served on the Council until 2015, helping oversee some of Plano’s most consequential development issues, including the successful effort to recruit Toyota’s North American headquarters.
As Pat planned to step down from the Council, a group of residents encouraged Angela to run for his seat. She had concerns about how voters would perceive her taking Pat’s seat and says she considered the opportunity during a summer trip to Greece.
“Finally, I said yes, and I never regretted it,” she says.
Among the Council achievements she’s most proud of are her work to get the Legacy Central development project approved, her efforts to get a top-notch recreation center for the east side and helping develop the Envision Oak Point Plan. Angela served on the Council for four years, when she chose not to seek re-election.
Everything changed in January 2020, when Pat was diagnosed with colon cancer.
“When he got his cancer, I stopped everything,” she says. “I said I can’t be involved in anything else right now.”
Eventually, Pat became cancer-free, but around the same time, Angela’s sister also had a second bout of breast cancer. Those experiences profoundly changed their outlook: It was time for a life change.
The Miners have long spent summers in Greece. They have houses in Athens and on a nearby island, inherited from her parents. Their plan is to move to Greece in March, spend most of the year there and return to Plano annually around holidays.
Their two daughters and two granddaughters will continue to live in North Texas, but they expect visits to Greece each summer. Angela says. And technology will help the family stay in touch, too.
“With today’s ways of communicating, it’s so easy to see family and friends,” she says. “If that wasn’t the case, we might not have wanted to go.”
Both agree that the hardest part will be leaving behind a quarter-century of friends and connections.
“I did not feel like a foreigner here. I felt like I belonged here,” Angela says.