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James Joseph Patton M.D.

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James Joseph Patton M.D. Obituary
James Joseph Patton, M.D. March 11, 1936 - July 29, 2018 With great sadness, the family of James (Jim) Joseph Patton, M. D., shares that he passed away on July 29, 2018, at the age of 82. He died peacefully with members of his loving family by his side. Jim was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the oldest son of five children born to George and Sarah Patton, both of whom emigrated from Castlefin, County Donegal, Ireland. He attended Roman Catholic High School and then Villanova University expecting to become an engineer, like his father. However, after a summer job at Smith, Kline and French, he decided to pursue medicine and transferred to La Salle College. During Jim's final year in college, he met Ann Eileen (Eileen) Griffies, his future wife, at the college's annual "Ugly Man" dance. They considered it fate, and even after Jim and Eileen were married in 1962, they continued to celebrate the "anniversary" of the dance every year. After graduating magna cum laude from La Salle College in 1959, he attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania on a scholarship, graduating in 1963. He completed an internship at Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona and a cardiology and surgical residency at Harbor General Hospital in Torrance, California, where he was Chief Resident and a surgery instructor at UCLA. The Vietnam War took Jim and his family back to the east coast where he proudly served as a Major in the United States Air Force, Medical Corp, and was Chief of General Surgery at Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts. Jim and Eileen eventually returned to California and settled in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, where together they raised four children. Jim practiced general and vascular surgery in Long Beach for almost 30 years until his retirement. His professional accomplishments were many, including becoming a board certified vascular surgeon the first year the certification was established. But one of his career highlights was being selected as part of the team of surgeons who operated on former President Richard Nixon for a potentially lethal blood clot shortly after he resigned the presidency in 1974. While Jim was a successful physician and surgeon, he was most proud of his close-knit family. His family meant everything to him. They enjoyed annual family ski trips and vacations in Hawaii. And he adored his five grandchildren and cherished the time he spent cheering them on in their many school and sporting activities. Jim was an avid reader, a wonderful legacy that he passed down to each of his children. Golf also was a life long passion of his, resulting in a never-ending search for the elusive "magic" club to help him shave a couple of strokes off his game. Jim was always generous with his time and attention when called upon by friends and neighbors for medical advice and contributed to many different charities throughout his lifetime, including to his alma mater to provide tuition assistance to first year medical students. Jim is survived by his wife of 56 years, Eileen Patton; his children, Eileen (Dwayne) McKenzie, Jessica (Martin) Vlaco, James (Michelle) Patton, Jr. and Jennifer (Robert) Crichton; his grandchildren, Margaret Vlaco, Nicholas Vlaco and Liam Vlaco, Abby Patton and Sean Patton; his sister, Sally McFadden, her daughters, Tara, Megan and Moira, and their spouses; his brother, Kevin Patton; and, of course, his beloved Porsche 928, which he never gave up on. Jim was preceded in death by both of his parents as well as sister Theresa and brother George. Jim will be greatly missed by his family. A memorial service will be held at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in San Pedro on Saturday, September 22nd at 10:00 a.m., with a reception immediately following at the family home. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made to in Jim's honor. And if attending the service, please wear something blue, Jim's favorite color. Please sign the guest book at www.dailybreeze.com/obits
Published in Daily Breeze on Sept. 9, 2018
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