The Moody family has been Park Cities residents for four generations. Patty Pierce moved to the area when she was one year old after her father graduated from medical school. Her parents had both attended and met at Highland Park High School. They lived at the corner of Cornell and Auburndale and her parents stayed in that house until well after Patty graduated from college. Her great-grandfather Joe E. Lawther was a visionary mayor of Dallas who turned White Rock Lake into the destination it is today. Her grandfather was Dallas County Commissioner and University Park Commissioner Lynn V. Lawther, and she now has a grandson named Lawther after both men. Her other grandfather made the first touchdown for the Southwest Conference while playing football for SMU. Jim, originally from Mineola, Texas, attended medical school in Galveston before moving to Kansas for his internship. Initially following a path to become an ear, nose, and throat doctor, Jim changed course after his neurosurgery rotation, which really captured his interest and imagination. After training at Semmes Murphey in Memphis, Jim was interviewed and came to Dallas. “Methodist was not a desirable place to practice in 1978,” explained Jim. “I thought it had the potential to be a great opportunity.” Patty added, “Jim grew up poor and couldn’t really afford to go to college. Part of what appealed to him about going to Methodist was being able to serve the underserved.” During his time at Methodist, Jim was instrumental in starting the CareFlite helicopter program and achieving Level I trauma status for the hospital. He retired in 2019, leaving a legacy with the Methodist Moody Brain and Spine Institute.
Patty has two daughters from a previous marriage – Keeley and Cameron. After her divorce, Patty moved back to the Park Cities from West Texas to be closer to her support system, her family. She taught fifth grade at University Park, where her daughters were in third grade and kindergarten at the time. It was later at a class party where Jim and Patty first met. “Jim was there with his son, Zach, who was in Keeley’s fifth grade class,” explained Patty. Jim followed her around most of the afternoon saying, “She was beautiful, and I noticed she wasn’t wearing a wedding ring, so I thought she was fair game. I followed her around just trying to have a conversation with her.” Cameron recalls seeing a picture of that day and said, “There’s a picture where she’s smiling with the other teacher and the other moms, and you can see him in the background admiring her.”
With a large, blended family including Jim’s four sons and Patty’s two daughters, they refer to themselves as The Moody Bunch. Blended families can sometimes present challenges, but they say that it really happened seamlessly. “When we got married, Jason, Jim’s oldest son, was a junior, and Cameron, my youngest, was in second grade,” shared Patty. “We went into the marriage with the understanding that ‘These are not your kids and my kids – they are our kids.’ We worked together as a team, as a partnership.”
Family vacations were, and still are, important to the Moody family. When the kids were younger, favorite family trips included skiing vacations to Crested Butte, Vail, and all over Colorado. “We would have to rent a van just to get to the airport,” said Keeley. “It was a great time and while Cameron and I were still learning to ski, the boys would help us, and we really learned to be a family.” They still go on family vacations, now with grandkids, and they are planning a Disney Alaskan cruise for this summer. In addition to family vacations, family holidays spent together are important to the Moodys. “Holidays are still spent at Mom and Dad’s,” shared Cameron. Keeley added, “Mom does holidays pretty big. She’s a wonderful hostess and I think she’s ready to pass the baton on hosting the traditions, but it’s just not the same to us without her doing it. She makes everyone feel important, even the adults.”
With six kids and nine grandkids, the whole Moody family stays busy. Keeley and Cameron live within blocks of Patty and Jim, and Keeley runs her own business, a ministry website called Life & Faith Collide that sells products to teach moms how to raise kids to know Jesus and share their faith with their kids through devotions and building consistent habits. “My husband is an Episcopal priest, and I have my Master of Divinity,” she explained. “I was looking for ways to share what I learned with others while still being a stay-at-home mom.” Cameron is a retired pharmaceutical sales rep and a stay-at-home mom who now sells Scout and Cellar wine. “It is clean-crafted wine, which are wines made from organic and biodynamic wineries and are lab-tested to ensure there is nothing artificial in them,” she shared. Her husband, an F/A-18 fighter pilot who went to TOPGUN, served for 13 years in the Navy before they moved back to Dallas where he is now CFO for Pennington Auto Group. Jim’s oldest son, Jason, lives in Austin where he is a product marketing manager for a cybersecurity software company. Twins Adam and Christopher are the middle sons, and Adam lives in San Antonio where he works for the city. Christopher lives in Avon, Connecticut, where his wife’s family is from. “He’s a big outdoors person,” said Patty, “and enjoys managing an REI store.” The youngest son, Zach, lives in Longview where he works for a plastics company.
Jim has recently written a new book with good friend Kathy Peel, On Call: A Neurosurgeon’s Story of Serving God and Others. “It’s kind of scary to have your whole life out there for everyone to read: the good, the bad, and the ugly, but that’s life. We want this book to be an encouragement to others who have struggles and trials through life to not give up on what God has called them to do,” Jim said. Jason and Keeley have also partnered together to work behind the scenes promoting the book. Jim’s memoir dives into his life growing up, his role of transforming Methodist Hospital, and his battle with pancreatic cancer, all while maintaining his faith in God. “We can’t wait to see how God is going to use this book for his glory. We are already seeing many blessings coming from sharing Jim’s story with others,” said Patty.

The Moodys’ favorite thing about the Park Cities is the tight-knit community and deep roots. “It really feels like a small town in a big city.” Patty and Jim now run into their friends’ kids and grandkids as well as Patty’s former students and their kids at elementary school programs and sports games. “It’s really fun,” says Patty. The family enjoys eating at old favorite restaurants like Kuby’s, Short Stop, and Amore in Snider Plaza, where Patty’s mom had a needlework store for over 20 years. “There are so many memories everywhere we go. We’re thankful that now some of our children and their children are able to experience some of the same joys we had when raising our family here in the Park Cities.”

*note: Williams Park, where the family photos were taken, was founded in 1939, and Patty’s grandfather Lynn V. Lawther was commissioner at the time and his name is on the plaque dedicating the park.