Dr. Clarence "Pat" Patterson (1935 - 2014)

Obituary
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Pat, was born to Clarence and Myrtle Patterson in a small farmhouse on the outskirts of Fithian, Illinois. Pat had 5 older sisters. Pat's given name was Clarence Augustus Patterson, but throughout grade and high school he was known as Sonny Patterson. To his sisters and other family members he was called Gus.

In high school, Pat participated in football, basketball, and track. Pat also participated in drama, and had major roles in all four years of high school. He was captain of the football and basketball team his senior year and was selected Outstanding Student-Athlete in his graduating class of 1953. Academically, Pat was fourth of his graduating class.

Pat changed his nickname from "Sonny" to "Pat" when he went off to College. In college, Pat majored in Mathematics at Illinois State University. While there, he participated in football, swimming, and the Gamma Phi Circus. Pat lettered as a diver on the swim team all four years. He also continued to participate in drama and was a member of Blackfriars all 4 years of college. Pat was selected as the Outstanding Student-Athlete in his graduating class of 1957. He served as the President of the Gamma Phi Circus his junior and senior years. He was a performer on the trampoline for the Gamma Phi Circus.

After graduating from Illinois State University, he married his college sweetheart Arlene and moved to Yuma, Arizona. He started teaching Math at Yuma High School and coached wrestling and gymnastics in 1958. Pat's 1962 to 1963 Wrestling Team was undefeated and won the only Arizona State Championship in wrestling in the school's history. He still has the longest winning streak of 26 consecutive dual mat victories in a row spanning over three seasons.

In the fall of 1963, Pat started his college teaching career as a founding faculty member of Arizona Western College and continued coaching wrestling. He had two teams place 5th at the National Junior College Tournament; which earned him a place in the National Junior College Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame.

Pat earned a Master's Degree in Mathematics from the University of Arizona in 1965; and later on in 1970 a Doctorate Degree from Arizona State University in Higher Education. He then started his Administration Career. While at A.W.C., Pat served as Dean of Occupational Education, Assistant Dean of Instruction, and Associate Dean of Instruction, from 1970 to 1974.

In 1974, he then moved to and became Dean of Instruction at College of the Desert in Palm Desert, California. From 1974 to 1999 Pat served at College of the Desert as Professor of Mathematics, Dean of Instruction, and as Vice-President for Instructional and Student Services. Pat also served as President Of the Chief Instructional Officers Association of the California Community Colleges.

After retirement, in 1999, Pat and his new wife, Sue Lee Patterson, enjoyed his remaining years playing golf and traveling the world. Pat is survived by his two sons, Scott and Richard, their mother Arlene, sister Mary Lou, and wife Sue Lee Patterson.

Pat died Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at home of Mesothelioma without pain, with his wife and two sons at his side. Pat requested a private ceremony.

You were a great inspiration Coach, we will never forget you!

Please sign the guestbook at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/yumasun/
Published in The Yuma Sun on Apr. 4, 2014
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