Rowland Dale Pattillo Jr.
February 19, 1923 - November 29, 2020
Rowland D. (Pat) Pattillo, Jr., was born in Fordyce, Arkansas on February 19, 1923, and, for the most part of his working life, he practiced public accounting in Waco, Texas. He married Nell Cown (who died in 2010) in 1946 and Lula Mae Denison in 2011. He died on November 29, 2020, and is survived by his wife, his two sons, five grandchildren and spouses, and nine great-grandchildren.
Those who loved and/or knew him are aware of his many failures and shortcomings, and his limited successes and awards. For those who did not, it doesn't matter.
That was the obituary that Pat wrote for himself. The following is the obituary written by his family.
Our father, grandfather and great-grandfather's spirit passed from this world to the next on November 29, 2020, from COVID-19. He was 97 years young. At the age of 9, Pat's father died while working for the federal jobs program in Arkansas following the Great Depression. Shortly after the death of his father, he and his mother and brother, John, moved from their farm near Fordyce, Arkansas to Arkadelphia, Arkansas so that the family could be near his mother's family for support. At age 11 or 12 he went to work as a sacker at the local grocery store in order to help support the family. He continued to work while in school in various jobs in Arkadelphia until he entered college. He remembered his years in Arkadelphia fondly surrounded by extended family and many friends.
He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1945 with a BBA in accounting. Following his graduation, he worked in public accounting in Houston for a year. While at The University, Pat met Nell Cown from Clarkston, Georgia, and they were married in 1946. Shortly after being married, Pat and Nell moved to Waco where he practiced accounting with Frank Wilcox. Following Mr. Wilcox's death, the firm evolved through the years to be Pattillo, Brown and Hill which remains to this day a vibrant and successful accounting and consulting firm in Waco with offices in several cities around the state. Following his retirement from Pattillo, Brown and Hill, Pat worked for 10 years as a stockbroker for A.G. Edwards in partnership with his son Denny.
Pat loved being a CPA. He served his profession in many capacities including as President of the Texas Society of CPAs, as a board member of the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy, and as a member of the Ethics and Professional Disciplinary Committee of the American Society of CPAs. Pat loved Waco. As a citizen of Waco, he served his church and many charitable organizations, and was for many years a member of the Board of the Cooper Foundation. He was elected mayor of Waco in 1988. He was a member of The First Presbyterian Church from 1946 until his death.
Pat was a man of many dimensions. He was a man of conviction and principle, a good man, honest and hardworking. He was a philosopher, and a student of life. He was smart, inquisitive, well read, always learning. In his 80s he enrolled in an Algebra II class at MCC because he felt like his mastery of the subject wasn't what it used to be. He read every day subscribing to all sorts of magazines and periodicals. He read mostly of current events, issues of the day. He thought TV was a waste of time. He loved people, and he always wanted to "hear their stories." He never met a stranger. He always had a smile on his face and got up every morning choosing to be happy.
He loved a group of men he called "the geezer's group" which met each Monday morning for several years to discuss the topics of the day. He loved to play pitch each week with a group of dear friends. He journaled every day about his friends and the people he met oftentimes taking their pictures with his iPhone to include in his journal. He loved his iPhone, and was amazed at all his iPhone could do. He often started a conversation with "I met the most interesting person today" or "I had the most interesting experience today" or "I just had the best meal I've ever had".
He loved bridge, gin rummy, and in later years he really loved his sudoku. He played golf into his 80s. He always walked when he played golf instead of riding in a golf cart. After Nell died, he lived at Stilwell Retirement Residence in Waco from 2010 until 2020. He loved Stilwell, and everyone who lived and worked there. In May of 2020, not being able to live independently any longer due to a serious fall in February of 2020, he lived at The Delaney until his death. He enjoyed the community at The Delaney, its residents and the staff. He appreciated their caring for him.
Pat loved his family. He was so proud of his sons and their wives, of each grandchild and their spouses, and of each great-grandchild. He loved each of them dearly. His walls at Stilwell Retirement Residence were covered with pictures of family members engaged in the activities of their lives. Each family member was special to Pat. He bragged about us all to anyone who would listen.
Pat is survived by his wife, Lula Mae, her son, Roger, and her daughter Judy, and their children. Each member of Lula Mae's family was a blessing to Pat following the death of Nell. Pat is also survived by his sons, Spike and his wife, Sherry, and Denny and his wife, Laura, and by his grandchildren, Matt Pattillo and his wife, Laura, Genny Davis and her husband, Russell, Jonathan Pattillo and his wife, Kalena, Chelsea Pattillo, and Andy Pattillo and his wife, Ryan. He is survived by his 9great-grandchildren, Annie Pattillo, Emma Pattillo, Harper Davis, Beau Davis, James Pattillo, Cash Davis, Olivia Pattillo, Evelynn Pattillo and Drew Pattillo. He is survived by numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
To know more about Pat, read Rudyard Kipling's poem, "If". It had special meaning to Pat, and his life reflects the words of the poem in so many ways.
Because of COVID-19, there will be no public visitation, funeral service, or burial. Memorials can be made to the First Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund, The Cooper Foundation, Meals on Wheels, Stilwell Retirement Residence, Compassion Ministries, or to the charity of your choice
The family invites you to leave a message or memory in our "Tribute Wall" at www.WHBfamily.com
Published by Waco Tribune-Herald from Dec. 1 to Dec. 4, 2020.