Fans of Southern Charm know all about the mother-son duo of Patricia Altschul and Whitney Sudler-Smith, but what do we know about Whitney’s father, Lon Haye Smith?
After all, Lon is rarely mentioned on the show, while his son has appeared on the reality series since it first began.
In a book titled The Art of Southern Charm, which was released on April 18, Patricia Altschul opens up about her first husband. She explains that she met Lon through a friend while attending George Washington University. As Bravo TV notes, she described him as “good-looking” and “mature”, adding on, “When you’re Southern and in your twenties, marriage is a top priority.”
Within a matter of years, the couple moved to Virginia and settled down. In 1965, Patricia earned her BA in history; she went on to receive her master’s degree from GW in 1966. In 1968, the couple welcomed Whitney into the world.
In her book, Patricia explains that Lon was always a role model for Whitney. “Honestly, Lon was such a gentleman that Whitney learned by his example,” she explained. “He saw his father open my car door, or stand when I entered the room, and eventually it became second nature for him to do the same.”
Why did their marriage end? Discussing how they grew apart, Patricia openly states, “After fourteen lovely years of marriage, there was no acrimony between us—just a sense that we were moving in different directions. Our separation and divorce were completely civilized and our main concern was always our son.”
Lon and Patricia decided to separate and divorce but continued to co-parent Whitney. They both lived in Georgetown, and maintained, in Patricia’s words, “a seamless coparenting schedule.”
In the words of Bustle, Whitney’s father is a “normal retired guy who seems to be living in Florida” these days. He’s clearly stayed out of the public eye with little interest in stepping into the spotlight.
Patricia Altschul has been married three times: first to Whitney’s father, Lon, then to Edward Stitt Fleming, and most recently to Arthur Altschul.
In an interview with The Daily Dish, Patricia has previously said that she “could have remarried several times, but being a good mother to Whitney always came first, my career came second, and having fun came third.”
Be sure to check out Southern Charm on Bravo at 8pm ET/PT.