Sarah Patten Gwynn died October 26, 2017, in Atlanta. She was born Sarah Key Patten on September 23, 1932, in Chattanooga, the daughter of Zeboim Cartter Patten, Jr. and Elizabeth Bryan Patten. She grew up at Ashland Farm at the base of Lookout Mountain in Flintstone, Georgia. Ashland is a classic residence that was designed by noted Atlanta architect Thomas Dowling. Sarah often told her children stories of growing up at Ashland and they remember them fondly to this day. In her childhood, Sarah and her sister Emmy had a pony cart that generated many adventures. As well, both were accomplished horsewomen and often rode together. In the summers, the Pattens would go to their home, Topside, on Walkers Pond in Brooksville, Maine. Both Ashland Farm and Topside are on the National Register of Historic Places and remain in the family to this day. Sarah went to the Girls Preparatory School where she was the May Queen in her senior year. Sarah attended Vassar College where she graduated with a degree in chemistry in 1954. After completing her freshman year, she was honored by being the Queen of the Cotton Ball in Chattanooga in the summer of 1951.
On June 18, 1955, Sarah married Philip Gwynn of Baltimore whom she met on a blind date. They were introduced by her cousin David Abshire who was Phil's roommate at West Point. The ceremony was at Ashland. Phil's mother told her grandchildren that it was the most beautiful wedding that she ever attended. Phil and Sarah then moved to Philadelphia where Phil completed his MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. During his final year, Sarah worked as a chemist at Hahenemann University Hospital. Upon Phil's graduation, they moved to Pittsburgh where Phil worked for the Mellon Bank and Sarah at a lab. After two years, they moved to Chattanooga, then Greenville, South Carolina, ultimately settling in Atlanta in 1961.
Sarah will be remembered for her elegance and her beauty which she retained till her dying day, her keen intellect, her sharp, somewhat dry wit and her understated nature. She was a kind, decent, generous soul. Sarah was beloved by all including her numerous friends, her husband, her children and her grandchildren. She was a member of the Cherokee Garden Club, the Junior League of Atlanta and the Colonial Dames in the State of Georgia. Sarah is survived by her husband of 62 years, Philip Haines Gwynn of Atlanta, her son, Nowland Gwynn (Suzanne) of Atlanta and her daughter Elizabeth Perdue (David) of Somerset, Virginia. She was predeceased by her son Philip H. Gwynn, Jr. Sarah is also survived by her brothers Z. Cartter Patten III and W.A. Bryan Patten and her sister Emma Patten Casey, all of Chattanooga. As well, Sarah had six grandchildren, Bennett and Fontaine Gwynn, Jack, Gus and Gwynn Perdue and Philip Gwynn III. The funeral will be held Wednesday, November 8 at 2:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road, N.W., Atlanta, GA 30305. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to Hospice Atlanta Center.
Gwynn, Patten, Sarah Key
Published in Atlanta Journal-Constitution from Nov. 1 to Nov. 2, 2017.