Bruce J. Patterson

KINSTON - On Sunday evening, December 2, 2012, Senator Bruce Patterson Jr., the last surviving son of Senator Bruce and Phoebe Sutton Patterson, passed away peacefully. He was born in the Falling Creek Community in Lenoir County on August 2, 1924. Bruce attended Lenoir County Schools and graduated from Adkin High School. He continued his education at Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama, where he obtained a degree in education. He moved to Waynesboro, Mississippi for his first teaching position. It was there that he met and married the love of his life and wife of 59 years, Lillia Marino. After marrying in 1950, Bruce and Lillia moved to Kinston and began teaching careers and raising a family. Bruce enjoyed teaching agriculture and horticulture and developed a gift for growing plants as well as landscaping. He received accolades for the work he did beautifying the school grounds. His own yard was always adorned with azaleas and other flowers. For many years he enjoyed working as an advisor to the FFA Club at both South Lenoir High School and Woodington. He was a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, and former president of the Saint Martin's Guild. "Pat," as he was affectionately called by his wife, enjoyed playing cards and was a member of the Tuesday Bridge Club. He was also a longtime volunteer for the "Meals on Wheels" program. Bruce was preceded in death by his wife, Lillia Marino Patterson; his parents, sisters Madie P. Jordan, Sylvia P. Croom, Zellamae P. King; and brothers, Courtney, James, Marshall, Ezekiel (EK), and Charles. Left to cherish his memories are his three children, Michael (Esther) of Fayetteville, N.C., Denise Thomas (Gene) of Goldsboro, N.C., Dwayne (Veronica) of Garner, N.C.; seven grandchildren, Lisa Eileen, Allison Thomas, Michael Sterling (Teresa), Jeremy and Bradley Thomas, Lillia Danielle, and Jarrod; one great grandchild Nolan Michael; three sisters, Hilda Lawson of Maryland, Evelyn Culpepper and Delores Callwood of Charlotte, N.C. and a host of nieces, nephews, and other relatives. Bruce was the patriarch of his family. He lived a vibrant and rewarding life, with a strong and devoted family, many interests, and more than 30 years as a high school teacher. Before his own illness, he was a devoted and loving caretaker for his wife. Bruce will be missed by his family and friends. A special thank you to Dr. Okonkwo and staff for their compassionate and professional care of our father. The funeral service will be held Friday, December 7, 2012, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church with Monsignor Gerald Lewis providing the Homily. Viewing will be at 11 a.m. Friday morning at the Church. The funeral will begin at noon. In Lieu of flowers, donations may be given to Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Funeral arrangements are by Albritton-Carraway Funeral Home. Sign the guest book at (Paid obituary)

Published in Free Press from Dec. 4 to Dec. 9, 2012