William Nelson Patton
August 16, 1943 – June 10, 2020
William “Bill” Nelson Patton passed away June 10, 2020, at Baptist Hospital, his favorite. He was like a cat with 9 lives and he used every single one of them.
He was born August 16, 1943, to welcoming parents Milton Patton (domino and cattle connoisseur) and Margaret Kirkland (queen of bridge games and bottled Coca Cola).
He was the oldest of four children and would remind everyone frequently. Sister Sherri kept Bill busy discussing ancestry roots she traced back to Charlemagne (so when you see her take a seat). Sister Paddie would tempt him with a mean game of charades and fancy foods he couldn’t spell. Brother Jim always left Bill with thoughts to ponder which would require google searches. He apologizes for taunting them as children but also said they were quite deserving.
After relocating to Texas with his family from abroad, he decided it was too hot and enlisted in the Air Force where they promptly sent him to basic training… in Texas.
His first assignment was Chicksands, UK, where he made life long friends and learned his priceless dance moves we teased him about.
Bill attended the University of Georgia (Goooo Dawgs! Sic ‘Em!) and received multiple Masters Degrees (yes, multiple, the show off). While working at a movie theatre, he laid eyes on the love of his life, Claire Norton. Only, she didn’t know it. After much finagling and a brief courtship, she agreed to marry. And for the next 53 years they lived a love story that even Disney couldn’t write. World travel on land, boat and air. Together they visited jungles, deserts and beaches. He was the Captain to her Tennille and the peaches to her cream.
Bill liked to talk politics with his children. He was one of the best. Up there with the likes of Rush Limbaugh. Ian, who could patiently listen to every history story more than once. Casey, who liked to clean out his refrigerator of processed foods when he wasn’t looking and Charles who knew Bill’s gun collection better than he did.
Bill’s grandchildren Karl, Jonathan, Kelsey, Craig and Michael will miss Bill handing out $2 bills, answering their homework questions and getting to eat whatever they want.
We know Bill was welcomed through the Pearly Gates. He put the rest of us to shame with his knowledge of Christianity (visiting Israel and the Vatican) and his deep devotion to his church and community. Hopefully, he puts in a good word for the rest of us.
A graveside service with military honors will be held at 9:30 a.m, on Friday, June 26th. Please meet at Oak Lawn Funeral Home, 619 N. New Warrington Road, Pensacola, at 8:45 to line up cars for procession into base.
A casual brunch will follow after the brief service at 7966 Castle Pointe Way, Pensacola. We look forward to seeing you and hearing stories about Bill.
The family welcomes donations to Bill’s beloved St. Joseph Catholic Church, 34290 US-98, Lillian AL 36549, as an expression of sympathy rather than flowers.
Friday, June 26, 2020
William Nelson Patton
June 23, 2020
Hey Mr. Patton,
It’s been a long time. I was wondering if you remembered, from way back in your days at Wiesbaden, a skinny long haired teenage boy who was head-over-heals for Casey. Well, enough years have passed that I’ve since shed that hair, but I remember you.
I remember the first time I shared a dinner at your table. That meal started with a tighten up your britches moment. I’ld like to say that I was ready. The truth was, I was stunned when you asked me the give the blessing for our dinner. About to fumble over my words, I was rescued and you provided the prayer. Thank you for not holding that against me.
Memories like that one are clear because they were impactful. When next we meet, I will be ready.
Thank you Sir.