Deceased December 10, 2013
Dick Patton passed away Dec. 10, 2013, at his home in Pasadena, Calif. I had talked with him three days earlier, and one would never have known that he was fighting lung cancer.
Dick was the fourth generation to attend Amherst. He pledged DU where he and I along with Stew VerNooy '54 became roommates. During our senior year we both took the same history course. Much to my chagrin, Dick was asked by the professor to help grade the exam. I got a fairly good grade which Dick, many times since, has let me know was due to his liberal grading of my paper. He was quite dedicated to the college and was president for several years of the Amherst Association of Southern California and also served on its board.
Dick liked people and made a concerted effort to keep in touch with his close friends. I could expect a call from him if we hadn't talked in several months, and we tried to get together when he came east on many of his business trips. On one of his trips, my date got Dick a blind date. That is how I met my wife, Nancy, and we will celebrate 55 years together this September. Dick and I attended Stew VerNooy's wedding in Philadelphia. Stew had gotten his medical degree and had an air force commitment to fulfill and was heading west to his new post. Since Dick was going to Chicago, he went along with Stew and his bride on their honeymoon. When we graduated in 1954, we all had a military commitment to fulfill. Dick joined the U.S. Marine Corps and spent three years in uniform. He told me recently that he enjoyed his military service and at one time was seriously considering making it a career. Instead he became a banker and head of National Mortgage Investors while also serving on the Board of Directors of the Pasadena Federal Savings and Loan. Dick was an avid skier and was president of the Pasadena Ski club when he met Lynda, also a skier. What better place for two skiers to get married than Sun Valley, Idaho. They subsequently bought a ski house on Mammoth Mountain, about 5 hours away from their home in Pasadena.
Lynda and Dick have a son Robert who is in the residential real estate remodeling business. About six months before his passing, Dick's first grandchild, a girl, was born. He was so pleased to have another generation of Pattons started. He and Lynda traveled extensively. He once told me he had visited 99 different countries, some of which I didn't know existed. Dick lived a full life and was dedicated to his family and friends and extremely proud of his Amherst heritage.
Dave Tapley '54