Thomas M. Patterson passed away on Wednesday, July 1, 2009 in Lincolnton , NC with family nearby.
Tom was born March 1, 1924 in Johnstown, PA to Gertrude and Thomas M. Patterson, one of four children.
Tom graduated from Jeannette, PA High School in 1942 and entered the U.S. Army Air Corps and served in the 15th Air Force 450th Bomb Group, 723rd Squadron.
Shot down on three occasions, he was finally captured by German forces after bailing out in Hungary and spent the balance of World War II as a prisoner of war.
He received 2 Purple Hearts and a Distinguished Flying Cross.
He married Nancy Louise Bushyager of Jeannette , PA before going overseas in 1943 and together they raised five children and remained married for 65 years.
He worked as a salesman, worked for his father-in-law several years before going to North Carolina where he was in the wholesale distribution business, retired, then opened a hardware store in Denver , NC , retired again and moved to Florida for eleven years before returning to North Carolina.
Tom was an active member of Westport Country Club and served as President. In Florida, he was instrumental in raising funds and building Post 347, Lady Lake, FL of the American Legion and served as Post Finance Officer for six years.
Tom is survived by his brother, Robert E. Patterson of Greensburg , PA , his beloved wife, Nancy, and five children, Thomas M. Patterson of Frederick , MD, Bonnae Bartus of Denver, NC, Susan Jolley of Statesville, NC, Richard M. Patterson of Lincolnton, and a host of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.