Willie Mack "W.M." Patrick entered into eternal rest on March 25, 2013, in Tifton.
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Funeral services were held on Thursday, March 28, at Fellowship Baptist Church, in Fitzgerald. Interment was at Philadelphia Baptist Cemetery, in Quitman.
Born on November 12, 1925, in Quitman, to Mr. and Mrs. Harmon L. Patrick, he lived in Brooks County his entire childhood, graduating from Quitman High School in 1942. He married Nelda Wardlow, of Cordele, in 1945. They have one son, Dr. James Benjamin "Ben" Patrick, who lives in Athens.
Mr. Patrick received his Bachelor of Science degree in education in vocational agriculture and his master's and specialist degrees in school administration from the University of Georgia. His scholastic honors include Kappa Delta Pi, the scholastic honorary society in education, a fellowship from UGA for advanced study, and an appointment to the doctoral program. In college, he was involved in public speaking and continued to instill that interest in others as an educator, coaching students to compete nationally.
Mr. Patrick was an educator for most of his professional life, as a teacher or administrator in Rabun, McDuffie, White, Stephens, and Ben Hill counties. Besides being in education, Mr. Patrick was former co-owner of Patrick Farms, in Brooks County, and owner of Colony Antiques.
While an educator, Mr. Patrick served on many state and national committees, including President of the 8th District Principal's Association, serving on the state STAR student and teacher committee, and on the Professional Practices Commission. He also served on professional teacher organizations, serving as President of local units of GAE and chairman of the Credential Committee for the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) at the state level.
In communities in which Mr. Patrick lived, he became active both in his Baptist faith as well as in community organizations. Besides being an active member of Fellowship Baptist Church, he taught both an adult Sunday school class and a Radio Bible class. An avid student of the Bible, he used his knowledge to serve in his church. He was a Rotarian, who received Rotary's highest recognition in 2007. In addition, he was a member of the Lions Club, serving as their President. In addition to these clubs, he was honored as the Jaycee Boss of the Year and served on the Mayor's Advisory Committee and the Dorminy Hospital Board, in Fitzgerald.
Throughout life, Mr. Patrick enjoyed reading, fishing, hunting, writing, public speaking, and traveling. He was a unique individual who always used his knowledge and interests to help those around him. His pleasing personality, dry sense of humor, and his values made his friends, colleagues, and customers respect him. He became a role model for his family, his students, and his faculty, as well as to those in the communities he served.
Mr. Patrick is survived by his wife of 67 years, Nelda Wardlow Patrick; son and daughter-in-law, Dr. James Benjamin "Ben" and Julie Smith Patrick, of Athens; and brother, Waymon L. Patrick Sr. of Quitman.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harmon L. Patrick, and brother, Leslie B. Patrick, all of Quitman.
The family suggests those desiring to send memorials may do so to Fellowship Baptist Church, P.O. Box 777, Fitzgerald, GA 31750.
To sign the online registry, go to www.paulkfuneralhome.com.
Published in Athens Banner-Herald on Mar. 31, 2013