William Joseph "Billy Joe" Patton
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.
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19 Entries
I always enjoyed the company of Billy Joe at Mimosa Hills. He was always a special person and will be missed by many.

Tom McDuffie Fayetteville NC
January 14, 2011
We were so sorry to hear of Billy Joe's passing. My father, Paul Hogan, Jr. of New Orleans, LA., was a cousin to both your mother and father. Your father was most kind to come to the cemetery in Morganton for Daddy's graveside service in 1999. My brother, Paul, and I grew up hearing golf stories of Billy Joe. We send our deepest sympathy for your great loss. Virginia( Hogan )& J.G. Brazil
Virginia Hogan Brazil
January 11, 2011
Deepest sympathy to the family of Billy Joe...he was a great friend of both my family and myself...my prayers and thoughts are with you..
Buster Small
January 5, 2011
Your friends at United Way of Central Alabama send their sincere sympathy and love. Betts, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
Ellyn Grady
January 4, 2011
I had the pleasure to meet Mr. Patton years ago while playing golf at Mimosa.The brief encounter still lingers in my memory of a true gentleman and a sports icon that I will treasure until I too shall pass. May his family find peace in knowing what a great fellow he was to so many others.
Bob Duckworth
January 4, 2011
Chuck and family,
So sorry to hear about your dad. Aaaron Efird informed me just today and I remember your dad well as he walked the sidelines at many of our football games. Take comfort in the fact he had a wonderful life and raised a terrific son.
Time will heal your family loss.
Best regards,
Nick Conner
Nick Conner
January 3, 2011
Dear Patton Family,

Please allow me to extend my deepest sympathy for your loss. I had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Patton and playing golf with him when I was a teenager. His stories made him larger than life in my eyes. I'll always remember teeing it up with him the first time and thinking how lucky I was to be playing golf with Billy Joe Patton. I was so nervous, but he made me feel like I belonged. He was a great man and will be missed.
Cale Johnson
January 3, 2011
Betts & Felix - So very sorry to hear of your loss - may he rest in eternal glory and peace. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.
Mike Waller
January 3, 2011
To Chuck, Lucie, Charles, Baker, Betts and Bill - What a rich, full life he lead, and what a great legacy Billy Joe leaves us with. His exploits in the game of golf are legendary - and his generosity and hospitality while hosting us down at Seminole was a treat. I really enjoyed his company. God's Blessings on all his family.
Jeff Matthews
January 3, 2011
Dear Chuck, Lucie and the Patton family,

On behalf of your many Episcopal High School classmates and friends, please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of your father, Billy Joe Patton. Your Dad was a 'Carolina gentleman', and his legacy will live on with all who knew his good deeds and his passion for golf.


Beau Wilson,
EHS '72 Class Correspondent
January 3, 2011
Sorry to hear about Billy Joe. I have great memories of Riverside and Mimosa, but wish I had gotten to know him better. He had a special way of making everyone around him feel special. He will be missed.
Wesley Clark
January 2, 2011
Dear Patton Family

Billy Joe did so much to put the Carolinas on the map for golf internationally. He was the consummate amateur and loved the game indeed. Every time the CGA conducted an event at Mimosa Hills, Billy Joe made it a point to hang around and strike up converstaions with all. We are grateful for his service to the CGA, USGA and amateur golf in general. He will be missed, but remember all the great memories as there are many.

The Carolinas Golf Association
Jack Nance
January 2, 2011
To the Family of Billy Joe Patton from Herbert Corpening Jr's Family, we're so very sorry to here of the loss of a very close and special man to our family. Our mother Gertrude sends her utmost regards and prays that you may find rest and comfort in that Billy Joe now rest among the breast of our Savior. May God Bless you all...Love, the Corpenings
January 2, 2011
joe, chuck & betts
It was with deep sorrow that i heard about your dad's death; he was quite a man in many ways. One can only mourn during these times, but know that in days to come and in the sharing of stories, memories of your father will bring smiles.
Growing up and around Mimosa Hills was a special time in my young life and my own memories of your father, quick of wit and with a bright smile only enhanced my time there.
May peace be with each and every one of you.
John Black
January 2, 2011
Chuck,Betts and Bill- We send our deepest condolences to you on the death of yout father.We understand that when you play golf in heaven,every hole is a hole in one.
Dennis & Julie Matthews
January 2, 2011
To the Patton Family; In this difficult time please find comfort from the following scripture Psalm 34:18. Mr Patton sounded like a wonderful, giving man. May all the wonderful memories he left behind comfort you in this time of need.

The Daniel Family
January 2, 2011
To the Family of Billy Joe. I will always have fond memories of my golfing days with Joe. He was one of my four mentors in golf which inlude Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan and Harvie Ward. I am happy to have a final visit with him last summer. My best to all of the family.
Bill (Will) Williamson
Charlotte NC
William H. Williamson
January 2, 2011
Joe, Betts and Chuck- so sorry to learn of your father's passing. Your family is in my prayers.
Tom Avery
January 2, 2011
Dear Patton family and friends,

As a longtime alumni relations officer of Wake Forest and a friend of Billy Joe's son Chuck, I would like to offer my deepest sympathy to you. Billy Joe's achievements in athletics, business, and civic life, and the rich heritage he's left through a loving family, reflect honor upon his alma mater and stand as a lasting tribute to his memory.
Bob Mills
January 1, 2011
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