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Roy Lee Patton

Roy Lee Patton, 99, passed away Monday, June 06, 2022 on his Nine Mile, Tennessee family farm where he was born and where he was of the fifth generation.

Born February 24, 1923 to Samuel Wilson and Pearl Brown Patton who preceded him in death, along with his siblings, Oscar William, Thelma Patton Ware, Thomas Carroll, and Kitty Brown Patton Clark.  

He is survived by his wife, Joan Anthony Patton with whom he created 66 years of a loving marriage giving her his utmost respect and his support to her educational goals and career. He is also survived by his first cousin, Jesse Carroll Brown; nieces Patricia Ware Scott and Martha Patton Simmons.  

Roy became “Pat” when he volunteered for The Army Air Corps in 1942. He served in the Air Force as an aerial photographer for almost 10 years during which he saw much of the world and met many interesting people including President Harry Truman with whom, after hearing “Good Morning, Sargent” from behind him, he enjoyed a one-on-one walk and talk to an early morning breakfast. Asked about where he was from, his duties, where and how long he had served, ”Pat” thought this encounter spoke worlds about the down to earth man that president was.

“Pat” flew the then highly secret assignment countering Japanese fire balloons aimed at United States west coast cities but which overflew and landed in the national forests setting them ablaze.

A 1941 graduate of Bledsoe County High School, “Pat” attended the University of Idaho, Tennessee Wesleyan College, and is a graduate of Drew University in New Jersey. He worked as a spectrographer for the Carpenter Steel Company in Reading, Pennsylvania and helped open the Chatham Township, New Jersey High School teaching biology there for many years.

He never lost his boyhood love of country life, and he and Joan raised Herfords and gardened on their Flemington, New Jersey farm for 25 years while also enjoying their proximity to the museums, theaters, and events in New York.  Family and friends looked forward to his dinner gatherings as “Pat” was known for his exceptional culinary skills learned from his aunt Martha Belle Patton who helped raise him and his siblings after his mother died when he was five.

After retirement “Pat” and Joan returned to his birthplace and farm in the beautiful Sequatchie Valley he always loved.  He has been active in the Bledsoe County Historical and Genealogical Society and has been a life-long Methodist.

At his request he will be interred in Joan’s family plot in Union Cemetery in Hackettstown, New Jersey where graveside services will be held. A portion of his ashes will also be placed on the farm and with his beloved “Aunt Bot” Martha Belle Patton in Iron Hill Cemetery in Cold Springs, Tennessee.  

The family of Roy L. “Pat” Patton extends our heartfelt thanks to those who have helped and supported us. Tammy Mathis and David Barker of Amedysis Home Health for their many years of help, love, and answers. Natalie Mulhollin of Amedysis Hospice for her kindness and patience, Dr. Don Zeigler of Doctor’s Home Visits our admiration for establishing this much needed practice.  Neighbors Dr. Mark and Cheri Ireland who plied us with dinners and answered medical questions. Carolyne and Dalton Knight who brought to our door goodies and the garden vegetables “Pat” could no longer grow. Iris Sherrill who kept him supplied with the country eggs he prized.  Jim and Paula Ault for peaches and fried pies “almost like Aunt Martha’s.” Most of all to Barbara Knowles and Deborah Stephens we so appreciate your years of effort, dedication, and love caring for “Pat.”

We want his cousin Avis Crews and his high school classmate Sara Agee Goins to know how much he treasured their love shown him. Thank you all. We have been so happy with our decision to return to the Sequatchie Valley. 

Condolences can be made at

Pikeville Funeral Home was entrusted with arrangements. 

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