Obituary of Agnatious Patterson
Mount Juliet: Agnatious “Pat” Patterson, Jr., 92, passed away on Thursday, August 30th, surrounded by his wife of 46 years, Jean Allen Patterson, and his children, Mary Anita Patterson of Mount Juliet, Teresa Bryson of Hermitage, Rodney (Denise) Patterson of Mount Juliet, and Lucian (Delana) Patterson of Laguardo. He is predeceased by his parents, Agnatious Patterson, Sr. and Mary Elizabeth Harper Patterson, and his four siblings, Milburn, William, and Jere Patterson and his sister Dorothy Gray. In addition, he is survived by Alice Patterson of Nashville; Grandchildren: Tammy (Greg) Fuller of Manchester, Wesley Bryson of Hermitage, Shane (Mendi) Patterson of Smyrna, Crystal Green of Laguardo, Allen (Liz) Patterson of Mount Juliet and Timothy Patterson of Mount Juliet, Leeanna Patterson of Nashville; Great Grandchildren Summer (Dwight) Whitaker of Murfressboro, Dillon Fuller of Manchester; Kelsey Bryson of Mount Juliet; Chloe, Grant and Ella Patterson of Smyrna; Jasmine and Skylar Patterson, Toni and Ezekiel Green of Laguardo; Nathan Patterson of Bowling Green, KY, Brandon (Jen) Patterson of Stuttgart, Arkansas, Taylor (Justin) Haller of Lebanon, Kylee Patterson of Mount Juliet, TJ and Allie Patterson of Nashville, Sierra and Stephanie Patterson of Mount Juliet. Great-great grandchildren Brookelynn, Witt and Lincoln Whitaker of Murfreesboro, Silas Agnatious Patterson of Bowling Green, Ky and Brantely Patterson of Stuttgart, Arkansas. Many nieces and nephews and too many friends to count.
Born in Nashville on December 26, 1925, Patterson was educated at Warner School and East High School. Ten days after graduating from high school in 1944, he was drafted for WWII. He was assigned to the Army Air Corps Special Services. He was stationed in Guam, as part of a unit executing secret assignments, he traveled to Iwo Jima, Saipan, Okinawa and the Marshall Islands. During his tour, he received a Bronze Star and a Silver Star and two Purple Hearts. He was discharged in 1946, as a Warrant Officer. When he returned to Nashville, he joined the National Guard, but it was not long before he was called back to active duty in 1950 at the outbreak of the Korean Conflict. During this time, he was in the Army and attached to a Military Police unit as a Special Investigator in CID. (One interesting assignment was to guard President Truman at the annual Army/Navy football game. He was selected because of his marksman skills.) In addition, he taught fire arms at Fort Gordon with fellow teacher Frank Clement, who was later Governor of Tennessee. He remained stateside during this tour of duty and was discharged as a Major in 1952.
This experience led him to a career in law enforcement when he returned to Nashville. He was a Davidson County Sheriff Deputy and then on the TN Highway Patrol as a TBI agent.
His political involvement started at a young age by winning a seat on the Davidson County Democratic Executive Committee in 1950. And in 1952, he served as the Tennessee Chair of the Stevenson/Kefauver Presidential Campaign. He was very active in the Young Democrats serving as state president and later, from 1958 to 1962, he served as the National President of the Young Democrats. Because of this position, he worked on the Kennedy/Johnson Presidential Campaign in 1960. He traveled extensively with both candidates. In 1961, he was selected by President Kennedy as one of the ten outstanding people in government to represent the US in a tour of NATO countries. During this trip, he met many dignitaries and heads of state including Charles De Gaulle, President of France, Konrad Adenauer, Chancellor of Germany and Willie Brandt, Mayor of Berlin. Patterson was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1952, 1956, and 1960.
He was active in the American Legion and assisted Frank Clement in his successful bid to become Commander of the Tennessee American Legion. He was long time member of Post 5 in Nashville.
Patterson’s relationship with Frank Clement continued as he traveled with him across the state in his successful runs for Governor in 1952 and 1954. Because of this relationship, he started a long career in state government both under the administration of Clement and Governor Ellington. He was the Assistant Commissioner of Welfare, Director of Public Works, Assistant Commissioner of Corrections (While at Corrections, he negotiated the end to a major riot at Brushy Mountain State Prison, where the inmates were holding up in the coal mine where they worked.) and retired as Assistant Treasurer.
After this long career, he decided to retire to the quiet of the country of Wilson County and entered the cattle business. Later, he decided to sell this farm and move to the Laguardo area. He and Jean settled into a house on Old Hickory Lake and real retirement. But when he had the opportunity to purchase some land near his home, he re-entered the cattle business.
Since his retirement, Patterson has served Wilson County in many capacities. He was on the Workhouse Commission when they created the inmates’ garden and initiated the roadside trash pick-up by inmates. He also served as Foreman of the Grand Jury for eight years and on the Board of Zoning Appeals for more than six years. His support assisted several successful candidates for offices in the Wilson County government.
In 1948, he became a Mason. Then in 1949, he was elevated to Thirty-Second Mason, Scottish Rite and later that year became a Shriner. He was a member of the Edgefield Lodge and the Al Menah Temple.
He and his wife Jean loved to entertain and travel. They organized several bus trips to attend horse races at Church Hill Downs and their annual Derby Party was a sought-after invitation. They loved to travel and saw most of the world, including many relaxing cruises where friends joined them.
The family wants to give a special thanks to Dr. Stacy Davis, Dr. George Crossley and Dr. Steven Tai who cared for him and gave him a genuine friendship. Also, the staff at St. Thomas Mid-Town E/R who were so thoughtful and caring.
His children want to thank Jean for taking care of him so well.
Visitation will be on Saturday from 4 pm to 8 pm at Sellars Funeral Home at 2229 North Mount Juliet Road in Mount Juliet and the service will be on Sunday at 2 pm with visitation from 12 to 2. Conducting the service is Brother August Ruff and Reverend Vicki Burgess. Pall Bearers are grandsons Wesley Bryson, Shane Patterson, Allen Patterson, great grandsons Nathan and Brandon Patterson and brother-in-law Jim Allen. Honorary pall bearers are nephews James, Ronnie, and Philip Patterson and good friends Tommy Thompson, Gordon Petty and Tommy Huff.
Arrangements by Sellars Funeral Home at Mt. Juliet, 2229 N. Mt. Juliet Road, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122, 615-758-5459, obituary line 615-758-8818, www.sellarsfuneralservices.com.
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