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Gordon Keith "Pat" Patterson

Obituary
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Gordon Keith "Pat" Patterson He was blind and now he can see. He couldn't walk, and now he can run. He couldn't hear very well, but now he hears clearly the angels singing….Gordon Patterson, beloved husband, father, grandpa, great grandpa, great-great grandpa, uncle and friend passed away on March 19, 2013 at the age of 99 in Strathmore, California. He was an amazing man who touched the lives of many people. He had a good word for everyone, and advice and wisdom he passed on to many. His love of a good joke and quips in conversation were his trademark. His zest for life was an inspiration to young and old over the years. He was born in Lowder, Illinois on June 11, 1913 to Francis Edgar and Grace Alice Patterson. His father worked as a mechanic for a car dealership and his mother was a school teacher until she married. They soon moved to Waverly, Illinois where he lived until he came to California in 1933. He graduated from Waverly High School and attended Brown's Business College. He always wanted to come to California. He heard that the CCC's were looking for young men wanting to join. He talked to a friend and they went down to register. Soon he was on his way to "Sunny California". That is where he met the love of his life, Mildred Adams, at a Baptist Church Youth Meeting in Sunland, CA. They courted. He kissed her on top of a hill….swooned…. They were married on July 31, 1936. He is survived by his loving wife Mildred of 76 ½ years; his sons, John and wife Leeann; and William (Bill) and wife Pattric; his daughters, Alice and husband Frank Encinas; and Katheen and husband Donald Mabs. He had 14 grandchildren, 34 great grandchildren and 8 great-great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Eldon Patterson, and his sisters, Doris Bouic and Marian Bales. He embraced the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior in his late teen years. His commitment never wavered over the years. He was a member of Sunland Baptist Church for many years where he served as a youth leader, teacher, choir member, deacon and trustee. He became very active in the American Baptist Convention, including fund raising for Valley Forge, American Baptist Headquarters in Pennsylvania. He was President of the Baptist Young People of southern California and President of the American Baptist Laymen Association, both state and national levels. Also, the American Baptist Laymen's Radio Hour was a labor of love for him. He was the supporter and trusted confidant of every pastor he served. When he moved to Strathmore in 1954 he joined Porterville First Baptist Church, faithfully serving there in many capacities until his death. His love, honesty and integrity were a real witness to everyone of his reverence for God. As a businessman, he loved the challenge of a problem and finding the solution that would be a win-win for everyone. He began his career in the olive business at Sunland Olive Company with his father-in-law, Alfred Adams Jr., when he married Mildred. He started in the barrel yard and eventually was CEO of Early California Foods in Visalia where he created the largest olive company in the world. He was active in the California Olive Association, Chamber of Commerce, Visalia Rotary Club, and California Water Board. In addition, during WWII he served in the Civil Air Patrol. When he retired the 2nd time, he built up his personal farming business of olive and citrus groves which he managed with enthusiasm to the end, setting packing house records. His farming legacy will live on in his family. In everything he did, he rose to the top. He also authored a book of his life, titled "A Story for Grandchildren" published by lulu.com in 2008. The family wishes to thank the wonderful caregivers that attended him: Amanda Appleton, Pam Grieser, Tamatha Gardner, Heather Blattner, Brianna Long, Rhonda Long, Ann Hobbs, Janet Villinueva, Brittney Pierce, Cherie Pompa, Letty Garcia, Cindy Orozco, and former caregivers, Pierina Aguilar, Judy Barton, Susan Reyes and Vicky Duvall. We would also like to thank Dr. William Goodin, Dr. Jasvir Sidhu and Optimal Hospice Care. The funeral will be held on March 29, 2013 at 11:00 AM at the First Baptist Church of Porterville with burial following at Hillcrest Cemetery arranged by Meyers Funeral Home. Viewing will be on March 28 from 3:00 to 7:00 PM. Memorial gifts can be sent to the First Baptist Church of Porterville, 101 N. "G" St. Porterville, CA 93257.

Published in Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Adv-Register on Mar. 26, 2013
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