Robert Edward Patterson, 101, of Statesville, N.C., passed away Tuesday, February 15, 2022. He was born in Cameron, N.C., on December 17, 1920, to Archie Leighton Patterson and Minnie Myrtle Lemon Patterson.
In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Kathleen Campbell Patterson, and his son, Randall Todd Patterson.
Those left to cherish his memory are his children, Bonnie Sue Causey (Brian), Danny Edward Paterson (Shelley), David Lee Patterson, Robert Samuel Patterson (Trish), Ronnie Lavon Patterson, Tine Gail Haire (Ricky), Eddie Dean Patterson, and Donnie Kay Graham (Blake).
Mr. Patterson is further survived by twenty-nine grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
As a young man, he worked in the hosiery mills as a seamless hosiery knitter before enlisting in the United States Army on February 29, 1940, at the age of 19.
After his initial training, Mr. Patterson became a member of the 760th Military Police (MP) Battalion (Company D) at Fort De Lesseps in Colón, Panama, where he served until the Attack on Pearl Harbor.
Although Mr. Patterson was close to fulfilling his contract and being on his way home, Pearl Harbor would change his course. He was transferred to the 78th “Lightning” Infantry Division (311th B Co) just a short time after.
As a member of the 78th Division, Mr. Patterson set sail for England on October 14, 1944. He would go on to participate in the Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe Campaigns as a Sergeant.
Mr. Patterson became a Purple Heart recipient after being wounded during The Battle of the Bulge. Other decorations include an American Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star, an European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three Bronze Stars, an American Theater Campaign Medal and a Bronze Star Medal bearing one Oak Leaf Cluster to denote additional awards.
After fulfilling his service to our wonderful military and country, Mr. Patterson became known as “The Upholstery Man” in Statesville. He owned an upholstery shop on Western Avenue for many, many years, where he provided his services while also telling his customers about Jesus.
Mr. Patterson celebrated his 100th birthday on December 17, 2020. He received a birthday card from The White House, thanking him for his service and congratulating him on becoming a centenarian.
The family will receive friends on Monday, February 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home. The funeral service will be held Tuesday, February 22, at 11 a.m. at New Life Community Baptist Church with Rev. Bryant Causey officiating. Burial to follow at New Life Baptist Church Cemetery.
Bunch-Johnson is honored to be serving the Patterson family. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.bunchjohnsonfuneralhome.com for the Patterson family.