WHAT HAPPENED 29 SEPTEMBER 1936 TO MAKE SOME FOLKS VERY HAPPY? Well , if you are Miss Piggy or Oscar the Grouch you are delighted because Jim Henson, the Muppet Master, was born on that day!! If you were Doris Lorraine or William (Bill) C. Patton, you were pretty happy, too… on that day, Gene Clifford Patton was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. For the next twelve years, Bill (an oil patch “wildcatter”) hauled his family all over the mid-west from Texas to Michigan before finally re-settling in Stillwater, Oklahoma… Bill’s place of birth when it was still Indian Territory!!
Gene “grew up” in Stillwater. Actually, Gene says he never did “grow up”… he just got older! As he grew, he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and be the CEO of Patco… his Dad’s oil well drilling company. Every summer he “roughnecked” on the drilling rigs. All of his college courses (geology, petroleum and structural engineering) were geared towards the oil business. To gain some practical experience as an actual working engineer, Gene went to work with Mobil Oil in Libya. In 1964, while working in the middle of the Sahara Desert, he got a message to immediately return to Tripoli. When he did, he discovered that his father had passed away. 61 years old… much too young – what a loss! Gene’s mom Doris passed away in 1989 at age 84.

Gene also discovered that “Patco”, the family oil business, was built upon the integrity, honesty and trustworthiness of his Dad, Bill Patton. With him gone, Patco was just a pile of used drilling equipment. Gene swore that he would make himself in the mold of his Father’s goodness. Living life with honesty, integrity and kindness became his life’s goals and he successfully pursued them every day!

Gene also discovered that he hated “work” and loved “fun”. If he could somehow make “work” “fun”, then it would be “fun” to “work”! Great idea!! With this in mind, Gene quit “the oil patch” and started exploring the “the Investment Business”…the world of money. Now that was “fun”! Over the years, Gene (sometime alone and sometime with Partners) developed Banking and Investment Accounts in Switzerland, built condos in Canada, a resort in Hawaii, and subdivisions in the USA…all “fun” and all profitable!!

Along the way, Gene met and became friends with a lot of interesting, intelligent and (yes!) “fun” people. Included in the fun people list was his first wife Barbara. A few years later, after a divorce from Barbara, he met on a Hawaiian beach, Jo Lynn (a very “fun” person). They married a few years later and had two wonderful sons together… William Carmichael and Grant Carlin… the pride of Gene’s life!! That marriage, too, ended in divorce.

When Gene and Patricia Cairns met and started dating, they both had secretly vowed to themselves… no marriage. Marriage, it seemed, spoiled love! Well, FATE had something to say about that!!!

At the time, golf was Gene and Patricia’s whole life. It dictated who their friends were, where they lived, what kind of car they drove, where they took their vacations, etc. So, when they moved to Hawaii, their friends Ron & Maxine Melchin sponsored them into the Mid-Pacific Country Club. Several moons later, when Patricia was playing in a tournament with Maxine, it came to light that Patricia and Gene were NOT married! What?? asked Maxine!! We all assumed you were married?? This is awful!! Relax Maxine, said Patricia. We are “married” we just don’t have a piece of paper that says so. Being married is not that big a deal! Well, said Maxine, it is if you are playing golf on a “Family” Membership. You could lose your golfing privileges!!! Gene and Patricia immediately married at Iolani Palace on Gene’s birthday… 29 September…almost 4 decades ago!

Gene’s passing left much of his family still vibrant. Barbara (his elder sister) and Suzanne (his younger sister), his two wonderful sons Carmichael and Grant, his grandson Mackenzie, and his best friend and love of his life, his wife – Patricia.

Enjoy your eternal rest Sweetheart and know you are loved, always.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Catholic Community Hospice 9740 W 87th St, Overland Park, KS 66212 Ph: 913-621-5090

September 29, 1936 – June 22, 2017

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