Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

James Patterson

Born: 04/15/1926 Died: 03/31/2011 Maiden Name: n/a Honorific: Veteran

James Thomas “Tom” Patterson, 84, of Muskogee passed away on March 31, 2011, at the Claremore Veterans Center. He was born April 15, 1926, in Durant to John Stephen Patterson and Exie Wall Patterson. During World War II, Tom served in the U.S. Air Force from June 1, 1944, until Nov. 6, 1945. Tom furthered his education at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1952. He earned a master’s degree at Lawrence, Kan., in 1958 and in 1975 received a Ph.D. equivalent at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. Tom was employed 40 years at the U.S. Department of Interior as an educator for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.He was a member of the First Baptist Church and very active in his Sunday School class. Tom was preceded in death by his first wife, Billie Jean Patterson, after 43 wonderful years of marriage. He married his second wife, Ruthie Bass, in August of 1991, and God gave them 18 wonderful years together. Also preceding him in death were his son, Pat Patterson; daughter Cindy Patterson; and mother Myrtle Patterson. Survivors include his daughter-in-law, Brenda Patterson of Polacca, Ariz.; two grandchildren, Jamie Patterson of Tahlequah and Johnny Patterson of Polacca; and one sister, Roberta Guenzel of Reydon.