Willy Roy Patton, retired educator


Willy Roy Patton, 92, a retired educator, died Aug. 24, 2007, at Collegeville, Pa.

Funeral services were held Aug. 30 at Central United Methodist Church in Jackson with burial in the Garden Memorial Park. Collins Funeral Home, Inc. in Jackson handled arrangements.

Mr. Patton, known to many as Bill, was born in Jackson on March 15, 1915, the son of John Lee Patton and Willie Slay Patton. He graduated from Lanier High School and graduated with honors from Alcorn State University and earned a master of science degree from Bradley University where he served as president of the Graduate Club. He achieved the rank of sergeant in the Army and served in the Aleutian Islands during World War II.

Mr. Patton began his teaching career at Cameron High School in Canton where he organized and coached the school’s first official basketball team. While there he also functioned as advisor and counselor for male students. He later served as trade and industrial education teacher at Bowman High School in Vicksburg. Mr. Patton’s tenure at Jackson State University began in September 1947. He developed architectural drafting as a required course for veterans of World War II and the Korean Conflict. He played an important role in the development of the Industrial Arts Program at the university. He served as assistant department head, chair of the practical arts area and head of the Industrial Arts Department. He was on many committees at the university, and was a member of the Thousand Dollar Club.

Mr. Patton designed the Hinds County Federal Education Credit Union building and served as supervising architect during its construction. He worked with Boy Scout troops as a councilman and was an official for high school basketball and football games. Mr. Patton was a long time member and keeper of finance for Beta Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

Mr. Patton was a member of Central United Methodist Church. He served as chair of the Board of Trustees, chair of the Administrative Board and was a member of the United Methodist Men. He also assisted the Rev. Wendell Taylor with the architectural design and plan for the existing church building and rendered service to the church wherever he was needed. His leisure activities included golf, fishing, hunting and working crossword puzzles.

He was the widower of Odessa Carpenter Patton, a former teacher in the Jackson Public Schools. Also preceding him in death were a granddaughter and a great-granddaughter.

Survivors include: daughters, Willie Benetta Raymond and Kay Elizabeth Phillips; son, Roy Lee Patton; and four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.