Robert Wallace Patterson

Lake Forest, Illinois

Age 83


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Robert Wallace Patterson, the son of Charles E. Patterson and Jeanette (Borrell) Patterson, was born on July 29, 1935 in Puerto Rico, where his father was employed. Bob spent most of his childhood in Parkersburg, WV, where he played football, and graduated from Parkersburg High School in 1953.

Bob earned his B.S. degree in political science and economics from The University of Illinois in 1957.  He was in the ROTC, and spent time in France as a Naval Officer candidate. Bob joined the football cheerleading squad in the hopes of going to the Rose Bowl--- no such luck!  He was also a brother in Phi Delta Theta fraternity, where he gained many lifelong friends. But most importantly, Bob met his future wife, Bonnie Grace Payne, who he married on June 30, 1957.  Bob continued on to Northwestern University, where earned his J.D. degree in 1960. While at Northwestern University, he was an editor of the Northwestern Law Review.

Bob began his law career with Mayer, Brown, and Platt. He joined Hopkins & Sutter (H&S) in 1964, and became a partner in 1968. Bob’s major accomplishments at H&S resulted from his work with the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC).  Appointed as the managing partner for the growing client list of federal banking and regulatory agencies, it became the largest client list in the firm. Bob supervised the legal resources for receiverships for the FSLIC/FDIC. The combined controlled assets of these banking receiverships exceeded $20 billion dollars. His work involved investigation and pursuit of professional liability actions against former officers, directors, and accountants from the insolvent banking institutions. Bob’s expertise in financial institution regulatory matters was instrumental in securing many private sector clients, and requests to speak at industry events, such as the American Bankers Association annual meeting.  In 1992, the National Law Journal named Bob one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the country. Bob gives credit to the legal team at H&S, and the magnitude of the work done by the entire team, during the most severe financial institution crisis in the country. When Bob retired from Hopkins & Sutter, he had practiced law for more than 35 years.

While Bob was a dedicated and successful attorney, he was really a family man at heart. He built a wonderful life with his wife, Bonnie, who he was married to for 37 years, and his three daughters, Amy, Julia, and Emily. Settling in Northbrook, IL, he became an active member of that community. Bob was always attending his girls’ swim meets, recitals and school events and was involved in his community, church, and neighborhood. He and Bonnie built a wonderful band of friends, who became an extended family. Bob was a born social chairman and planned many parties, vacations, fishing and camping trips, and outings. He always made sure everyone had a good time and ate great food--- whether at a block party, Old Willow Club, a ski resort, the grandstand of a Bears game, a Florida shrimp boil, or around a campfire by the Wisconsin River.

Bob served his community in several ways. He was elected to The Village of Northbrook Board of Trustees for two consecutive terms from 1973 to 1981.  As a member of the Planning Commission of the Village of Northbrook, he was instrumental in securing the development of Northbrook Court Mall within the village. The tax revenue from that development spurring growth and financial security in Northbrook. Bob served as a Board Member for Child’s Voice, and as a legal advisor to the Moraine Girl Scout Council-- an organization his late wife, Bonnie, served as a Girl Scout Leader and Council Board Member for many years. He created a scholarship fund for Gold Award Girl Scouts in honor of Bonnie after her death on May 21, 1994. By this time Bob and Bonnie had gained three sons-in-law: Rocky Cardin, Jay Charlesworth, and Kirk Brenner. His golf foursome was complete. They were proud grandparents to Caitlin and Hannah Cardin, and Payne Charlesworth.

Bob was blessed to have a second chapter in his life. He married his wonderful wife, Lucille “Lu” Jean (DiCarlo) Eiseman, on June 10, 2000. From Alaska to Costa Rica, from England to France, and from Hilton Head to Florida, to Seattle-- Bob and Lu loved to travel. They also enjoyed fun closer to home playing golf, cooking together, and socializing with friends. Their life in Lake Forest, IL, has also been one of service to community and family. Bob was a member of the Legal Committee for the City of Lake Forest from 2005 to 2009. He was an early Board Member and served on the Conway Farms Commons Homeowners Association until 2014.

Bob and Lu’s family continued to grow.  Bob gained a step son, Fred Eiseman, and their beautiful town home in Lake Forest has been the site of many happy family gatherings, celebrations, and visits from the “Steps” from across the pond. They welcomed a larger tribe of grandchildren: Ainsley Charlesworth, Zachary and Hannah Eiseman, and Noah, Zane, and Kyle Brenner, before the death of their mother, Emily (Patterson) Brenner, Bob and Bonnie’s youngest daughter, in 2015.

We take comfort that, at the end of his life, Bob was in possession of a loving wife and family, which also included two sisters and brothers-in-law:  Barbara (Payne) and Marty Johanson, and Carol (DiCarlo) and Greg Devers, and many dear nieces and nephews. Bob was happy that his granddaughter, Hannah Cardin, will be marrying Paul DiStefano in July.  Right before his death, he was so touched and proud to learn that he was to be a Great Grandfather, as his eldest granddaughter, Caitlin (Cardin) Rudy, and her husband, Jason, are expecting a baby this September. We know Bob believed that life goes on, and for his family, he was able to see into the future of that promise.

Memorial Service:
Saturday, August 3, 2019, 11:00 a.m. at The Village Presbyterian Church, 1300 Shermer Road, Northbrook, IL 60062.


In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to:

Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter
8430 West Bryn Mawr, Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60631

Info: or (847) 675-1990

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We are saddened by Bob's passing and send to Lu and all his family our deepest sympathy. Bob was a pleasure to know and a wonderful neighbor. He is greatly missed.

To Lu and all the family Bev and I are with you in spirit during the difficult time. Bob was not just a Brother in the Bond but a special friend and great guy. He left his mark in life and a successful attorney but a better husband and father. God bless you all

Sending love and sincere condolences to you and your family. May Bob's memory be for a blessing.

We are deeply saddened to learn of your loss. Bob was a wonderful man and we know he will be missed.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time.
Jim and Denise