Thomas O’Brien Patton Sr., 83, Johnson City, died unexpectedly Tuesday, August 13, 2013, at his residence.
Tom was a native of Burlington, N.C., was raised in Macon, GA, and formerly resided in Atlanta, GA while attending the Georgia Institute of Technology, prior to moving to Johnson City in 1952.
He was a son of the late William Herman and Cora Wheeler Patton.
Tom received his Bachelor of Engineering degree from Georgia Tech in 1952, where he was a member of Kappa Alpha Fraternity, the R.O.T.C. and Pi Tau Sigma National Honorary Mechanical Engineering Fraternity.
Upon graduation, he was licensed by the State Board of Architecture and Engineering Examiners, and was employed by Eastman Kodak Company, where he worked from 1952 until his retirement in 1994. While with Eastman Kodak, Tom was head of Machine Design, during which time the 3-D camera was invented.
He was a member of First United Methodist Church of Johnson City since 1968, where he was past Treasurer, a former member of the Asbury Sunday School Class, and was instrumental in refitting the pipe organ into the Chancel area of the Sanctuary.
Tom was a very involved member of the Johnson City Power Squadron and received the Life Membership Award for his many years of teaching classes on nautical navigation using the stars.
He had a quiet, gentle manner and exemplified true Christian servitude by giving without expectations. Tom received the Holston Habitat for Humanity Outstanding Volunteer Award, and was committed to delivering Meals on Wheels.
He devoted his life to helping develop the interests and goals of his children and grandchildren by sharing his knowledge of academics and sports. Tom was an avid sports fan of Georgia Tech, The Atlanta Braves, Science Hill Hilltoppers and every team in which his grandchildren were participants.
He was a very loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather.
Tom is survived by his wife of 58 years, Ann Luntsford Patton; three children, Susan Fortune and husband James “Butch,” Johnson City, Trish Archer and husband Bill, Newnan, GA, and T.O. Patton Jr. and fiancée Sandra Cook, Johnson City; his brother, William Patton, Idaho Falls, ID; five grandchildren, Lyndl and Rob Fortune, Obie, Sarah and Natalie Patton, all of Johnson City; several nieces and nephews.
Tom was a very humble and selfless gentleman throughout his life. In keeping with these values, he chose to donate his body to the James H. Quillen College of Medicine, ETSU.
A Celebration of Tom’s life will be held Friday, August 16, 2013, at 7:00 P.M., in the Sanctuary of First United Methodist Church, with Rev. Jane Taylor and Rev. Garland Thayer officiating.
The family will receive friends Friday prior to the service from 5:00-7:00 P.M. in the Parlor of the church.
Those who prefer to make memorial contributions may do so to First United Methodist Church Restoration Fund, 900 Spring St., Johnson City, TN 37605, or the Washington County Johnson City Animal Control Center, 525 Sells Ave., Johnson City, TN 37604.
Memories and condolences may be shared at www.appfh.net.
Appalachian Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 800 E. Watauga Ave., Johnson City, is serving the Patton family. 928-6111