RUTHERFORDTON- D. Gene "Pat" Patterson, 73, of Rutherfordton, died in his home Oct. 9, 2012, following a two year battle with cancer. Pat was born in Shelby on Sept. 30, 1939, to the late Mary Warlick Patterson and the late Seth Patterson.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Judy Hooker Patterson; as well as their three children, Kim Alderson and husband Chris of Green Creek, Beth Patterson of Rutherfordton and Randy Patterson and wife Karen of Spindale. He is also survived by two brothers, Richard Warlick and wife Lizzie, and Mike Patterson and wife Susan; and five grandchildren, Catie and Sarah Beth Turner, Judyth Caroline, Chloe Rachel and Gavin Patterson.
A graduate of Shelby High School, Pat enlisted in the United States Air Force
, in which he was a Forward Air Controller. Following an honorable discharge, Pat was employed by the N.C. Prison Department as a guard. In 1963, Pat was sworn in as Trooper with the N.C. Highway Patrol. After 30 years of service, Pat officially retired, however continued to be involved with law enforcement serving as Chief Deputy with the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department and as Rutherford County Coroner. Pat also served as Chief Pilot and FAA Certified Aircraft Mechanic for the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department Aviation Unit. In addition, Pat was a certified B.L.E.T Instructor.
Among his achievements, Pat served as a member of the Civil Air Patrol, was a Master Mason of the Spruce Pine Vespers Lodge, a member of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans and a member of the Rutherford County Airport Authority.
Pat highly revered aviation and law enforcement, taking every opportunity to share that passion with others. He also had a heart for animals, specifically those which were strays, mistreated and/or abandoned. There always seemed to be room for one more dog, cat, goat, horse or the occasional rooster that found its way to the farm. Pat had many passions, but chief among them was the love and affection he had for his family. Spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren on the farm or at the lake brought him his greatest joy and he will be greatly missed.
The family requests you join them in celebrating Pat's life and legacy.
Visitation: The family will receive friends from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Crowe's Mortuary
Funeral Home: Crowe's Mortuary is serving the family
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Rutherford Air Rescue Squad or to the Rutherford County Humane Society