Norma Virginia Bishop Patterson

Norma Virginia (Bishop) Patterson, 93, of El Dorado, passed away Sunday, January 13, 2013, at the John R. Williamson Life Touch Hospice House. She was born November12, 1919, in Stephens, Arkansas, to Lake Culpepper Bishop and Bertha Belle Sawyer. She married Thomas Judson Patterson, Jr. December 30, 1937.

Norma grew up in Stephens, Arkansas and graduated from Stephens High School as valedictorian of her class in 1937. She moved with her husband and two children to El Dorado in 1946. Norma was active in her community for over sixty years. In addition to her volunteer work as a Sunday school teacher and Girl Scout leader, she served as Executive Director of Bozeman Park School for Exceptional Children until her retirement.

In 1966 Norma pursued a life-long dream of getting a college education. After attending summer school for 17 years, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Southern Arkansas University in 1979.

Norma was a member of Pilot Club International and Arkansas Retired Teachers Association. She was a member First United Methodist Church. In 1997 she was selected as a Five Who Care recipient by the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce for her exceptional caring volunteer work. Norma loved teaching, and she loved learning. She gave her heart and soul to her students and their families. In her own words, “It may be no more than a smile and a kind word, but they can mean very much to a person with a burdened heart.” Up until her death, she was finding a smile for everyone who visited her.

Above all, Norma loved music. She loved to sing and play hymns on the piano. Shortly after she moved to Timberlane Health and Rehab in 2006, she found her way to the piano for daily hymn singing with her companions.

Survivors include her son Thomas Judson Patterson III (Kay) of El Dorado and daughter Virginia Patterson Miller (C.W.) of Hot Springs Village, AR. Her surviving grandchildren are Lisa Lynn Patterson of Franklin, TN; Sheri Patterson Lucas of Carrolton, TX; Jon Patterson Fouse (Erin) of Costa Mesa, CA; Leslie Stegall Pardue (Damon) of Ft. Myers, FL; and Laura Stegall of El Dorado. She has seven great grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was predeceased by her siblings Cecil Dawson Bishop (Betty Jo) of Millington, TN; Sam Bishop (Edna) of Waldo, AR; and Corrine Boswell (Glen) of Waldo, AR. She was also predeceased by her grandson Thomas Lake Patterson of El Dorado.

Visitation will be Thursday, January 17, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Young’s Funeral Directors. The funeral service will be at First United Methodist Church in El Dorado at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, January 19. Burial will follow at 3:00 p.m. at Greenwood Cemetery in Camden. Officiating will be Rev. Jim Polk and Rev. Jim Foster of Little Rock. Organist will be Linda Barrett with Mary Pat Anthony singing “His Eye is On the Sparrow.”

Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 200 South Hill Street, El Dorado or to the John R. Williamson Life Touch Hospice House, 2301 Champagnolle, El Dorado.

The family would like to express appreciation to the entire staff and volunteers at the Life Touch Hospice House and at Timberlane Health and Rehab for the care and comfort provided to Norma.

In a story written by Norma for her college writing class, she described an event of her youth when she and a friend decided to go plum-picking in a field near her house. During the expedition, they found themselves face-to-face with a strange man who had followed them into the plum thicket. Knowing she could not outrun the stranger, she instinctively decided to “remain calm and to be kind to him.” She offered him some plums from her basket and saw a “glimmer of kindliness on his rugged face.” They quickly ran home but Norma confirmed that “A kind word turneth away wrath.” (Proverbs 15:1)


  • Visitation Thursday, January 17, 2013
  • Funeral Service Saturday, January 19, 2013

Norma Virginia Bishop Patterson

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Bob Keys

February 2, 2013

Tommy ~ I was saddened to hear of your mom's passing. I got to see her quite often during that time Dad was out at Timberlane when she was. I may have told you before, but, she reminded me so very much of my grandmother, Fannie(Dad's mom). Both of those gals have got to have a special place in Heaven....both just angels here on earth. We can sure be thankful for all our parents taught us and how they led us in the right directions. The way they lived let us know they knew the Lord. Hang in there my friend and keep the faith. Barbara and I are thinking of you all and praying for peace that only Christ can provide.
Our love, Bob & Barbara

January 25, 2013

Virginia, your mother certainly left a lasting legacy and will be remembered so fondly by those who knew her. You are very much like her because you, too, are a picture of grace, kindness and generosity. We know that it was difficult for you and your family to give her up and are so sorry for your loss.
Floyd and Eleanor

January 19, 2013

With deepest sympathy,

Betty Pill (El Dorado, AR)

Marilyn Lawrence Brown

January 19, 2013

To say that Norma was one of the most precious and kind people I have ever met in my life is a kind understatement. It was an honor to have known her. Please accept my deepest sympathy.

January 19, 2013

Ginna I am so sorry to hear about Aunt Norma. I am so glad I had the opportunity to know your Mother. She was one beautiful lady. Wanda Thorp Hot Springs

January 18, 2013

I was truly sorry to hear about the loss of Mrs. Patterson.I knew her when she taught at the Bozeman School, my brother was a student under her and she was so sweet and kind, to all her students. She will be greatly missed by everyone.. May GOD'S blessings be with you. Sandra Reed and Steve Reed

Jeff Mullins

January 18, 2013

What a precious saint, who loved others so deeply and touched so many lives - mine included. She is deeply loved and will be greatly missed.

January 17, 2013

Mike and Susan Landers

Billy Boswell

January 17, 2013

If there is such a thing as a parade in Heaven, I'm sure they will have one to celebrate sweet, sweet Norma's "Homecoming"!

Debbie and Vandy Cameron

January 16, 2013

I consider it a honor to have known Ms. Norma, she will be remembered and missed every day! Tommy and Kay our prayers and thoughts are with you.