Nobuko Patton
1960 - 2018
Spring Grove Funeral Home-Spring Grove Chapel
4389 Spring Grove Avenue
Cincinnati, OH
PATTON Nobuko Toda, passed away on August 4 surrounded by her loved ones after a long battle with lung cancer despite having never smoked. Nobuko is survived by her husband, Nathan Whitney Patton, her successor as Japanese language instructor at Berea College, and her beloved toy poodle Fluffy. Nobuko thoroughly enjoyed her first career as a distinguished television and radio announcer in her native Japan, which included work for CNN as well as being an evening news anchor for a Japanese national TV network. Nobuko later established a very successful second career in Kentucky as a teacher of Japanese language and culture. Throughout her life, "Patton-Sensei" went to extraordinary lengths to promote Japanese studies and instill a love of language, learning, and travel in students. Her joyful dedication and zest for life inspired countless Japanese language learners at Berea College, the University of Kentucky, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Jessie Clark Middle School, and Scott County High School in Georgetown, Kentucky, where she and her husband made their home. With her husband, she co-authored the acclaimed textbook, Beginning Japanese: Your Pathway to Dynamic Language Acquisition (Tuttle, 2010). Nobuko always tried to listen carefully to and understand everyone around her on a deep individual and personal level because she recognized the healing power that comes from being able to express yourself to someone who understands. Nobuko was a great communicator, but in many ways she was an even better listener. Nobuko loved deeply. She loved her life, her family, her friends, her students, her career, language, travel, music, animals, nature, stargazing. . . Nobuko's most enduring legacy will be the light and the joy that her million dollar smile, beautiful soul, kindness, and love gave to everyone around her. A memorial service for Nobuko will be held at 2:00pm on Saturday, August 18 in the main building of the Yuko-en on the Elkhorn Japanese Garden, 700 Cincinnati Road, Georgetown, KY 40324. Visitation will take place before the service from 1:00-2:00. In honor of Nobuko's many contributions to the study of Japanese language at Berea College, a memorial fund has been established. Contributions to this fund will be used to continue and deepen her commitment to promoting Japanese studies at Berea. Memorial donations may be sent to: The Nobuko Patton Memorial Scholarship Fund, Berea College, CPO 2216, 101 Chestnut Street, Berea, KY 40404. Nobuko also contributed greatly as a volunteer and trustee to the Yuko-en Japanese Garden in Georgetown. Memorial donations for the preservation of the garden can be sent to: Yuko-En on the Elkhorn, c/o Scott County Chamber of Commerce, 160 East Main Street, Georgetown, KY 40324. Arrangements by Spring Grove Funeral Home, 4389 Spring Grove Ave, Cincinnati.
Published by Lexington Herald-Leader on Aug. 12, 2018.
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1:00p.m. - 2:00p.m.
main building of the Yuko-en on the Elkhorn Japanese Garden
Memorial service
main building of the Yuko-en on the Elkhorn Japanese Garden
700 Cincinnati Road, Georgetown, KY
Funeral services provided by:
Spring Grove Funeral Home-Spring Grove Chapel
Sponsored by Lexington Herald-Leader.
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9 Entries
Nobuko, Your bright light continues to shine through memories of your beautiful presence. Remembering you today, the beautiful person who touched so many and sending love to all who love you.
Angelina G
August 4, 2019
Patton Sensei (Nathan Patton, my former Japanese professor) never spoke ill of his beloved. He always smiled and told us several stories about how he met her. I hope she watches over him and her legacy continues.
March 27, 2019
Had I known I would've traveled to your services. I'm so thankful I got to meet you last year & Nathan and see your puppy videos. What a loving family you are! Many blessings. Thank you for your warm, brillantly shining light!. I can see you hogging that microphone right now, ha! :) Much love to your family.
Michelle Sutton
August 22, 2018
I cannot even begin to say "thank you" enough for everything. The example you set for us and the inspiration you gave us remains so much of a reason for why I live in Japan and why I am a teacher now. Thank you for all the advice and enthusiasm; you truly made learning a joy and to be taught by you was the greatest of privileges.
Grant Hargus
August 22, 2018
Thank you, Patton-Sensei, for your intelligence, enthusiasm, and sensitivity. Japanese is a hard language for an American to learn, but I learned so much about it from you. Thank you so much.
Taylor Howard
August 20, 2018
A bright & shining soul who was loved, respected & will be missed by all who had the privilege to know her. Prayers to her husband, Nathan Patton, her mother, her sister & Fluffy for their great loss.
Linda Williamson
August 19, 2018
A bright & shining soul who was loved, respected & will be missed by all who had the privilege to know her. Prayers to her husband, Nathan Patton, her mother, her sister & Fluffy for their great loss.
Linda Williamson
August 19, 2018
Nobuko, a candle seems a perfect way to remember you - like a candle, your beautiful heart and spirit helped light a room. If there is a place where angels live, then you must certainly be among them now.
Much love and prayers for your light will continue to reach others and that your family may be comforted by each beautiful moment and memory they shared with you. With Much Aloha, always xox <3
Angelina Gal
August 18, 2018
I light this virtual candle to represent how Nobuko's light shone brighter than anyone around her. The world is a little less bright without her. My love to Nathan and all those who loved her.
Tracy White
August 15, 2018
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