James Willard "Pat" PATTERSON

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PATTERSON, James Willard "Pat," died January 13, 2013 at his home in Prosper, Texas, at the age of 97. He was born February 14, 1915, in Forney Creek, North Carolina to Josh and Bessie Patterson. He graduated from Silva High School in 1932 and received a scholarship to Western Carolina Teachers College. He loved music and started a string band known as the "Smokey Mountain Ramblers" and successfully played at the music theater that is now known as the Grand Ole Opry. His career plans changed when, during WW11, he was called by the Corps of Engineers to build Camp Holabird in Maryland, airfields in Puerto Rico and the Aleutian Island, and the building of the Alaska Highway. While working on the Pentagon, he was asked to build the first Missile launching pad on Wallaps Island, Va. and would later build launching pad 39A at Cape Canaveral, used until the program ended in 2012. In 1969 he was hired by Joe M. Rodgers to build HCA hospitals and large scale projects such as Opry Land, in Nashville Tenn. He married Mary Elizabeth Evans, June 19, 1942 and loved one another 66 years until her passing July 4, 2008. He retired in 1986, and he and his wife, Betty moved back to Tampa, Fla. A member of the Masonic Order for 62 years, Pat served as Past Master of Seat Pleasant (Patuxent) Lodge in Maryland, Honorary Past Master of Community Lodge in Tampa, Florida, honorary member of Lee Lodge, Prosper, Texas, and a member of Tranquility Lodge 2000. He was also a member, and Past Worthy Patron of OES Chapter 240 in Tampa, Fla. He is survived by daughters, Bronwyn (Ronald) Underwood of Prosper, and Nancy Carol (William) Siemek of Florissant, Mo., granddaughters, Bronwyn and Jennifer Siemek, and Samantha Underwood, sister-in-Law, Nancy Fields, of Ft. Worth, brother-in-Law George (Pauline) Evans of Tampa, Fla., and numerous nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Maryland Masonic Homes, 300 International Cir. Cockeysville, MD 21030-1300.

Published in TBO.com on Jan. 20, 2013
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