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Donald Baker "Mouse" Patterson


1930 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Donald Baker "Mouse" Patterson Obituary
Donald Baker "Mouse" Patterson

Brookhaven - Judge Donald Baker "Mouse" Patterson passed away at his home in Brookhaven on July 10, 2018. Visitation will be held at Ole Town Church (former First Presbyterian Church at corner of S. Jackson and W Chickasaw St.) in Brookhaven on Friday, July 13, 2018 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM with the funeral service following at 3:00 PM. Riverwood Family is in charge of arrangements.

Donald "Dandy" was born on October 14, 1930 in Monticello, MS to Hiram Jerome Patterson and Lida Trawick Alford Patterson. He graduated from Central High School in Jackson and attended the University of Mississippi. He then served in the United States Navy as a radio operator in Corpus Christi, TX (where he won his first car through a craps game) and in Key West, FL.

Prior to his assignment in Key West, Mouse married Helen Carolyn Givens of Monticello, his childhood sweetheart. While in Key West, he caught thousands of grouper, considered a trash fish at the time. After his discharge from the Navy, he attended and graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Following his graduation, Donald began his legal career practicing law with Emmette Allen, his cousin, in Brookhaven. He went on to form a law practice, Jones and Patterson, with his lifelong friend, Robert E. Jones and also served as the attorney for the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors. In 1990, he was elected Chancery Judge in Lincoln and Copiah Counties with the campaign slogan "Put a Mouse in the Courthouse". While he was at judge training school in Nevada, radio personality Paul Harvey reported that a Mississippi judge requested that grits be sent to him from Mississippi as no restaurant in Reno, Nevada served them. Mr. Patterson formally retired from the bench in 1998 but continued to serve as a special judge over cases throughout Mississippi. During his time on the bench, Mr. Patterson occasionally suffered from depression. Rather than hide the illness, Judge Patterson wrote an article about his struggle for The Mississippi Lawyer Magazine which served as an inspiration to numerous lawyers struggling with depression.

Mouse was known to many as an avid fisherman, golfer, bird dog trainer, bird hunter, Ole Miss fan, walking encyclopedia of baseball trivia, loyal friend and encourager to younger lawyers. He was also a zealous reader of history and a world traveler. Three days after 9/11, he and Carolyn travelled to Turkey, stating that it was probably as safe a time to go as any other time. One of his last trips was to central Asia - Uzbekistan,Turkmenistan and Kazakstan - where he celebrated his 80th birthday, because "a book interested him."

His church home in his last years was Northminster Baptist Church.

Mr. Patterson was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 57 years, Helen Carolyn Givens, his son, Hiram Jerome "Pat" Patterson, and his son-in-law, Jim Skattebo. He is survived by his daughters, Peggy Skattebo, Beth Mills (Ron), Jane Patterson (Tom Auld) and Lida Caraway (Gregg), thirteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Memorials can be made to Northminster Baptist Church - Pastor's Benevolence Fund - 3955 Ridgewood Rd., Jackson, MS 39211 or the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League, P.O. Box 3477, Brookhaven, MS 39603. If you would like to leave a comment or a word of sympathy to the family, you may do so through www.riverwoodfamily.com.
Published in Clarion Ledger on July 12, 2018
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