Qualls, called "Pat" by her friends, grew up just north of Monette, and graduated from Monette High School. She is the daughter of the late J.D. and Mildred Steele.
She taught choral music in the Monette Public School System from 1963-1978, during which time she also served as music director for the Monette First Baptist Church. She gave private lessons in voice, piano and organ in Lake City from 1978-1983.
She has held various public offices including mayor of Lake City from 1979-1983 at which time she resigned to accept an appointment to the Arkansas Public Service Commission, a position she held from 1983 until 1997.
Ms. Qualls has served as harpist in the Immanuel Baptist Church Orchestra in Little Rock and also directed the Immanuel Chancel Bells.
She received a BME Degree from Arkansas State College in 1963 (now Arkansas State University) and a MSE Degree from ASU in 1968.
She was affiliated with the National Association of Regulatory
Commissioners from 1983-1997 and served on various committees within the Association. During that time she was also a member of Mid-America Regulatory Commissioners and held several offices. In addition she was a member of Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, serving on the Executive Committee from 1988-1995.
In other community activities, Ms. Qualls served on the Literacy Action of Central Arkansas as a Certified Reading Tutor (1984), Senior Reading Tutor (1995), and was selected as a KTHV B.J. Sams' Hero for Work with Literacy Programs (1996).
She was named to the Arkansas Music Educators Association Hall of Fame at the AMEA annual Fall In-service at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. Also named to the AMEA Hall of Fame were Alfred Skoog (posthumously), long-time director of Choral Activities at ASU-Jonesboro, and Thomas Street, Choral Director in the Harrison Public Schools.
Ms. Qualls was nominated for the Hall of Fame award by her former students and friend, Lynn Mangrum Williams, of Jonesboro.