xPatsy Fell-Barker  BG Hoadley Quarries

Patsy Fell-Barker
BG Hoadley Quarries

As the wife of a fourth-generation owner/operator of BG Hoadley Quarries - a limestone quarry and fabrication operation in Bloomington, Indiana – Patsy Fell-Barker was destined to enjoy an active role in the stone industry.   

After her husband, Bert Hoadley Fell, passed, Pasty became very involved in the business. She was determined to see the family name continue in the stone industry and wanted their company to survive. 

The dedication and determination Patsy had to succeed in this industry were admirable. Things were not easy. The company was in debt. But Patsy believed in what she was doing, was determined to continue her husband’s legacy, and even sold her home to buy their first saw.

Patsy’s son David added: “in the time that everything evolved in the late 70’s, there were very few women in the industry. When she took over the business, word got out that here was this woman running an Indiana Limestone company, people were interested. Her name became well known.”

Under Patsy’s leadership, BG Hoadley had to adapt and cut costs wherever possible. She reinvested all she could and righted a sinking ship.

The company transitioned from a Buff slab and sill operation to incorporate gray block sales, and also became the first Indiana limestone company to employ the use of a large disc blade saw for the mill. 

Patsy’s late husband had been a member of the Building Stone Institute and together they had enjoyed going to BSI conventions, getting ideas and making wonderful friends.

Patsy remembers that after Bert died, Dorothy Kender, then Executive Vice President of the Building Stone Institute, became a friend and confidant, and she wanted Patsy to excel as another woman in the industry. “She was very helpful, I think. Invited me to attend meetings. 

I did,” Patsy said. “They felt that I could do the job, I guess, bring a new perspective of women being on the board. Which hadn’t happened before.”

Patsy served on the BSI Board from the late 70s until early 1982. She would earn the BSI’s prestigious “Man of the Year” designation in 1981, an obvious, gender-incorrect label signifying that the stone industry wasn’t yet prepared for the contributions of a female leader. But this didn’t concern Patsy much. She didn’t believe that women of her age were that concerned about being women of equality. They just did it because it seemed to be a natural thing to do. Patsy went on to serve as Secretary of the BSI Board in 1989 and became its first female President in 1992.

Patsy’s inherent success has always been driven by her passion for natural stone. She adds, “I don’t care where you go, the most beautiful buildings and the ones that seem to be aging the best are those that were made from natural stone.” 

Her advice to women just entering the industry is to be willing to make sacrifices, which Patsy has, and to never give up. She recommends looking in the mirror every day and saying, “I am capable of doing this today.” 

Patsy Fell-Barker BG Hoadley Quarries

Patsy Fell-Barker BG Hoadley Quarries

On receiving the Pioneer award, Patsy said, “It’s very special to me. I hope it will be an inspiration for my family to continue to work as hard as they do now.”

Congratulations to Patsy Fell-Barker, the 2020 Women in Stone Pioneer.

 Pinnacle Awards 2019

“Pat is extremely soft spoken. Yet, what she says, you listen to.”

Brenda Edwards 
TexaStone Quarries

“Mom, we love you. We are so proud of you.
 I just thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me the opportunity and for being so selfless, and for giving my children the opportunity to carry on this incredible legacy.”

David Fell
BG Hoadley Quarries