Norma Patterson Obituary

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In Memory of

Norma Virginia (Bishop) Patterson

Obituary

Norma Virginia (Bishop) Patterson, 93, of El Dorado, passed away Sunday, January 13, 2013, at the John R. Williamson Life Touch Hospice House. She was born November12, 1919, in Stephens, Arkansas, to Lake Culpepper Bishop and Bertha Belle Sawyer. She married Thomas Judson Patterson, Jr. December 30, 1937. Norma grew up in Stephens, Arkansas and graduated from Stephens High School as valedictorian of her class in 1937. She moved with her husband and two children to El Dorado in 1946. Norma was active in her community for over sixty years. In addition to her volunteer work as a Sunday school teacher and Girl Scout leader, she...
Norma Virginia (Bishop) Patterson, 93, of El Dorado, passed away Sunday, January 13, 2013, at the John R. Williamson Life Touch Hospice House. She was born November12, 1919, in Stephens, Arkansas, to Lake Culpepper Bishop and Bertha Belle Sawyer. She married Thomas Judson Patterson, Jr. December 30, 1937.

Norma grew up in Stephens, Arkansas and graduated from Stephens High School as valedictorian of her class in 1937. She moved with her husband and two children to El Dorado in 1946. Norma was active in her community for over sixty years. In addition to her volunteer work as a Sunday school teacher and Girl Scout leader, she served as Executive Director of Bozeman Park School for Exceptional Children until her retirement.

In 1966 Norma pursued a life-long dream of getting a college education. After attending summer school for 17 years, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Southern Arkansas University in 1979.

Norma was a member of Pilot Club International and Arkansas Retired Teachers Association. She was a member First United Methodist Church. In 1997 she was selected as a Five Who Care recipient by the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce for her exceptional caring volunteer work. Norma loved teaching, and she loved learning. She gave her heart and soul to her students and their families. In her own words, "It may be no more than a smile and a kind word, but they can mean very much to a person with a burdened heart." Up until her death, she was finding a smile for everyone who visited her.

Above all, Norma loved music. She loved to sing and play hymns on the piano. Shortly after she moved to Timberlane Health and Rehab in 2006, she found her way to the piano for daily hymn singing with her companions.

Survivors include her son Thomas Judson Patterson III (Kay) of El Dorado and daughter Virginia Patterson Miller (C.W.) of Hot Springs Village, AR. Her surviving grandchildren are Lisa Lynn Patterson of Franklin, TN; Sheri Patterson Lucas of Carrolton, TX; Jon Patterson Fouse (Erin) of Costa Mesa, CA; Leslie Stegall Pardue (Damon) of Ft. Myers, FL; and Laura Stegall of El Dorado. She has seven great grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was predeceased by her siblings Cecil Dawson Bishop (Betty Jo) of Millington, TN; Sam Bishop (Edna) of Waldo, AR; and Corrine Boswell (Glen) of Waldo, AR. She was also predeceased by her grandson Thomas Lake Patterson of El Dorado.

Visitation will be Thursday, January 17, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Young's Funeral
Directors. The funeral service will be at First United Methodist Church in El Dorado at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, January 19. Burial will follow at 3:00 p.m. at Greenwood Cemetery in Camden. Officiating will be Rev. Jim Polk and Rev. Jim Foster of Little Rock. Organist will be Linda Barrett with Mary Pat Anthony singing "His Eye is On the Sparrow."

Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 200 South Hill Street, El Dorado or to the John R. Williamson Life Touch Hospice House, 2301 Champagnolle, El Dorado.

The family would like to express appreciation to the entire staff and volunteers at the Life Touch Hospice House and at Timberlane Health and Rehab for the care and comfort provided to Norma.

In a story written by Norma for her college writing class, she described an event of her youth when she and a friend decided to go plum-picking in a field near her house. During the expedition, they found themselves face-to-face with a strange man who had followed them into the plum thicket. Knowing she could not outrun the stranger, she instinctively decided to "remain calm and to be kind to him." She offered him some plums from her basket and saw a "glimmer of kindliness on his rugged face." They quickly ran home but Norma confirmed that "A kind word turneth away wrath." (Proverbs 15:1)

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