PATTON MORGANTON - William Joseph Patton Born: April 19, 1922 Died: Jan 1, 2011 Billy Joe Patton died at the Grace Ridge Retirement Community in the early morning hours of the New Year. He was the son of Nollie Moore Patton and Margaret Davis Patton. He was a native of Morganton and graduated from Morganton High School and Wake Forest University. He served in the U.S. Navy in World War II on a boat in the Pacific. Billy Joe started his working career with Hardwoods of Morganton and was later self employed as a lumber broker. He was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth Collett Patton. He is survived by his three children, William J. Patton, Jr., Elizabeth Patton Drennen (Felix) of Birmingham, AL and Charles Collett Patton (Lucie) of Winston-Salem, NC. He is also survived by five grandchildren: Elizabeth Patton Drennen, Mary Hagood Drennen, Margaret Drennen Brooke, Charles Collett Patton, Jr. and Baker VanBuren Patton. He also has one great-grandchild. Billy Joe's real passion was golf. During the 1950's and 60's, he played golf at the highest level. He nearly won the 1954 Masters and finished in the top ten in five major championships during his career. He also played in 13 consecutive Masters Tournaments. He won numerous amateur events throughout the country during his career including: three Carolinas Amateurs, three North and South Amateurs, and two Southern Amateurs. He was a four-time member of the United States Walker Cup Team and a non-playing captain in 1969. In 1982, he received the Bob Jones award from the USGA for outstanding sportsmanship. He remained a lifelong amateur and was a fearless competitor. He gave back to the game of golf and his community. He served as President of the Carolina's Golf Association and a member of the USGA Executive Committee. He also served as chairman of the United Way campaign in Burke County in the 1970's. The family will receive friends, Sunday, January 2, 2011 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Kirksey Funeral Home, 406 Lenoir Road, Morganton. A Memorial Service will be held at First United Methodist Church in Morganton at 11 a.m. on Monday, January 3, 200 North King Street, Morganton. Memorial gifts may be made to the Community Foundation of Burke County, 205 North King Street, Morganton, NC 28655. Online condolences may be left at www.kirksey morganton.com
. Kirksey Funeral Home has the honor of serving the Patton family.
Published by Winston-Salem Journal on Jan. 2, 2011.