George R. Patterson
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George Raymond Patterson, age 90, peacefully passed away on October 28th, 2013 at Signature Healthcare in Memphis Tennessee.
George was born December 16, 1922 to Arthur Calloway Patterson and Sallie Palmer Patterson in Strawberry Plains, Tennessee. His mother died in his infancy, and he was blessed by his father's marriage to Flora Patterson, who made the family whole. Life on the family farm was rigorous and made worse by the Great Depression.
George shouldered a full share from an early age and took to heart the lessons learned from hard labor and challenging circumstances. He had a vision beyond subsistence, however. At a time and in a society when eighth grade was considered all that was necessary, and after which, there was no paternal support, George resolved to go further. He worked during the summers, above and beyond his ordinary chores, to finance his secondary education. He paid for his books and school clothes with his hands, his back and his sweat, while graduating from high school as president of his senior class.
When World War II came, he endured a North Atlantic crossing and served honorably in the United States Army. After the peace, he returned to the States and studied at the University of Tennessee, where he cemented his life-long fervor for its football team.
George began his business career as co-owner of a general store, but soon migrated to the electrical supply business with Westinghouse and General Electric corporations. He would later branch out in his professional career by becoming a founding partner of Factory Sales Agency. Relocating from Knoxville to Memphis, George built a thriving business, playing a role in many landmark commercial developments. He was a member of the Memphis Electric League, and the Illuminating Engineering Society. While at Factory Sales Agency, he represented some of the top commercial and industrial lighting companies in the lighting industry. He was liked and respected throughout the lighting community by customers and competitors alike. His positive attitude and love of life were traits that George exhibited every day.
Early in his career, George married Kathryn Moore Patterson. He is survived by her, their children, Amy Patterson Jeffries (Jim) and C. Richard Patterson (Helen); four granddaughters, Anne Patterson (Curt) Weaver, Katherine Patterson Griffin (Grant), Sarah Reynolds Patterson, Margaret Britt Patterson and two great- grandsons, Thomas Schoch Weaver, William Reynolds Griffin.
In 1981, George married Mary Lee Patterson, and lovingly embraced her children, Linda (Gary), John (Deborah Sue), Steve (Connie) and Laura. He is survived by them, along with five grandchildren, Abby Lee, John Harlan Fields (Camie), Richard Matthew Fields (Brooke), John A. Lee III, Eugenia "Genie" Lockwood (Alex), and six great-grandchildren, Isabella Lee, Harlan Fields, Callie Fields, Hayden Fields, Lainey Fields, Mary Fields, Roman Lockwood.
George and Mary's life together was one of deep devotion and commitment to each other. They shared their life with family and a host of wonderful friends, where laughter and conviviality were in abundant supply.
George will be missed by his family and friends, but will be fondly remembered for his infectious enthusiasm and boundless joy of living matched only by his determination that all around him share in it.
A visitation will be held on Wednesday, October 30th from 12 to 1:30 p.m., at Memorial Park Funeral Home, 5668 Poplar Avenue, Memphis TN (901-767-8930) and Thursday, October 31st from 12 to 1 p.m., at Woodfin Funeral Chapel, 203 N. Lowry St., Smyrna TN (615-459-3254). Immediately following the visitation, please join the family for a graveside service at Mapleview Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family request donations to Church Healthcare, Memphis TN and/or Trinity Christian Church, Smyrna TN.
Memorial Park Funeral Home & Cemetery
5668 Poplar Avenue Memphis, TN 38119-0885
Published in The Daily News Journal on Oct. 30, 2013