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John M. Patton, 82

Nov 20, 2010

John Patton

Blue Earth – John M. Patton, age 82, of Blue Earth, died Nov. 12, 2010, at his home.

Funeral Services were held Nov. 18, 2010, at Hope United Methodist Church, in Blue Earth. Burial followed in Riverside Cemetery, in Blue Earth. Patton Funeral Home and Cremation Service was in charge of arrangements.

John Patton was born in Huron, S.D., on March 22, 1928, the son of Blake F. and Myrle J. (Bratsburg) Patton. He attended school in Huron, Mason City, Iowa, and Waseca, graduating from Waseca High School in 1945. He attended Washington University, in St. Louis, Mo., where he earned his degree in psychology in 1949. He was married to Carol Schueneman in 1950 in St. Louis. John entered the service in 1951 and attended officer candidate school at Lowry Air Force Base and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. After three years in the Air Force during the Korean conflict, John and his family moved to Waseca to work with his family at their Chevrolet dealership in 1953. He later attended the University of Minnesota’s Mortuary Science Program, obtaining his degree in Mortuary Science. He worked at a large funeral home in Denver, Colo., for several years before coming to Blue Earth in 1963, where he purchased the Cook Funeral Home in downtown Blue Earth. He soon formed a partnership with Al Forsman in 1965 and was the co-owner of Forsman-Patton Funeral Home. Mr. Forsman retired in 1982 and John later purchased the Wicks Funeral Home in Elmore in 1984.

John had been an active person in the community and ran the ambulance service in Blue Earth for several years. His was the first ambulance service in southern Minnesota to utilize two way radio communications and later pager technologies to improve rapid response. He was a Cub Scout leader, was executive secretary with Red Cross and was a longtime member of the Blue Earth Kiwanis Club. John began his political career, locally, in 1966 and was sworn in as Mayor of Blue Earth in April 1969. In 1972 he was elected a Minnesota State Senator where he served from 1973 to 1976. He returned as Mayor of Blue Earth in 1978 and was elected Mayor four more times, serving the city through 1983. During his years of service as Mayor, John was elected vice-president of the Minnesota Coalition of Outstate Cities in 1980 and as president in 1981. John was appointed by Governor Quie to serve on the Local Government Policy Task Force in 1982.

In addition to his government service, John has spent 22 years in the American Legion and Blue Earth Kiwanis Club. He was active in the Town and Country Players, having roles in Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver, and Arsenic & Old Lace. He was also the director of the First United Methodist Church Choir for 20 plus years. He received numerous awards for his local activities and service but none more prestigious to him as when he was named Honorary Turkey by the Worthington Turkey Days Association in 1981. His love for flying and aviation was well known. It fulfilled him personally and served him in the business as well. He passionately and unconditionally supported each of his sons in their respective hobbies and life endeavors. From Blake and the rock band he was in to David with his photography, Edward with his rock band and Tom with his venture into aviation. Grandson John was also educated in aviation with enthusiastic encouragement from?Grandpa.

John is survived by three sons, Blake (Mary Love) Patton, of Madison, Wis., Ed Patton, of St. Paul, Tom Patton, of Phoenix, Ariz.; step-son, Joel (Rachel) Kienitz, of Blue Earth; daughter-in-law, Wanda Patton, of McKinney, Texas; grandchildren, John J. Patton, of West Bend, Wis., CPT William D. Patton, of Wyoming, Parker and Chandler Kienitz, of Blue Earth, Brian Chilton, of Portland, Ore., and Lt. Daniel Chilton, of San Diego.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Carol, in 1987, wife, Bonney, in 2004; son, Dr. David Patton, in 2008; and a brother, Bill Patton, in 2001.

Web tributes may be left at www.pattonfh.com