Michael Patterson

Michael Edmond Patterson

1952 - 2024

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Michael Edmond Patterson was born in Fort Worth on January 8, 1952 to Jack and Doris (Simmons) Patterson. He came home to the family homeplace where his family had lived since 1901. His grandson Oliver is the 7th generation of his family to have called that plot of land home. Mike lived on the homeplace until the age of 68. In 2020 he moved to Siloam Springs, Arkansas, changing residences for the first time in his life. Even though he moved, his heart forever remained in Tarrant County. This was the home that he missed every day until his death. 

Mike’s interest in history and genealogy was inspired by listening to stories told by his great grandmother who lived with the family until her death in 1965. She often talked of her father, Harvey R. Sparger, who was a Georgia cavalryman. Harvey Sparger was Mike’s entrée into the Sons of Confederate Veterans. In 2010 he joined the SCV E.W. Taylor Camp. He was actively involved in the camp, serving as chaplain, 1st lt. commander, and commander. He enjoyed doing the camp newsletter for many years until his death. 

Mike loved to learn. He was an avid reader and researcher, with a phenomenal memory. He could readily recall dates and details of historical events and family histories. 

Early in his life, he developed an interest in marking graves and making headstones. Throughout his life, Mike’s yard usually had several headstones awaiting installation. In addition to the veterans stones he ordered, he made an untold number of grave markers and monuments. He had codes memorized to every locked cemetery gate in the county. Other installers would call him when they arrived at a cemetery because they knew he would know the code to open the gate. He loved historic cemeteries and for many years worked to keep them clean and mowed. 

Mike attended the old country school at Pleasant Run until it was annexed by Grapevine ISD in 1963. He graduated from Grapevine High School in 1970, and from UT Arlington in 1977 with a degree in History and English.

Mike’s first job, as a teenager, was working at Mangham Airport, one of his father’s favorite hangouts. He worked for a cabinet company and  as a truck and forklift driver for several years before he became a teacher in Birdville ISD. After years of teaching, he went to work in the monument business so he could learn to do stone engraving and installation to support his passion for marking the gravesites of Civil War veterans.

Mike was instrumental in creating a memorial to World War II veterans. This memorial stands on the grounds of the Colleyville Senior Center. He researched and erected the Northeast Tarrant County Civil War Veterans Memorial which stands between Bedford Church of Christ and Bedford Cemetery. A corresponding website contains biographical information and photographs for men whose names are engraved on the monument. Mike worked for many years on this project. At the time of his death, he had completed more than 700 biographies of Civil War veterans who spent time in northeast Tarrant County. He wrote numerous articles on Tarrant County history and  presented an untold number of historical programs. His donated  items are in the collections of several Tarrant County libraries. He applied for and installed more than 30 Texas State historical markers.

History was important to Mike.  He believed that past events were the building blocks of our present time and should be appreciated for their contributions. He understood and acknowledged that we don’t live in a vacuum of self accomplishment. The work he did to honor all veterans was his small token of thanks for their past contributions to the foundation of our more comfortable present life. 

Whenever Mike had an interest, a hobby, or a job, he was totally dedicated to it. He was a skilled wood worker. He loved bird watching, feeding wild  birds, and making species-correct birdhouses. He was skilled at making bows and arrows. He loved shooting them and shooting his black powder rifle. He loved to sew by hand. He made many reenactment shirts, even making his own buttons from bone or black walnuts. He made firestarters, knapsacks, and confederate money, often giving these items away to people who enjoyed participating in Civil War reinactments. He made  flags and banners for historical events. He was a master at photoshopping old photos. He raised buffalo and a longhorn named “Bentley”. Whatever his passion was at any given time, he made sure that others were just as involved. He was a skilled “recruiter”, keeping family members and friends busy with his projects. 

He was quick-witted and funny. He was skilled at making others laugh. He surfed the internet for funny video clips to share with friends and family members. He loved to customize and adapt “Far Side” cartoons for the camp newsletter. 

Church was always an important part of Mike’s life. He loved to sing hymns. He grew up attending Pleasant Run Baptist Church in Colleyville. The day the old church building was to be demolished, Mike stood in the building and sang Blest Be The Tie That Binds before the walls went down. When Mike and Marilyn married, Mike began attending the Church of Christ. He loved the a cappella music there. He loved the harmony and always enjoyed “singings”.

He was a loyal friend. He remained in touch with his Pleasant Run and Grapevine classmates, former teachers, his church families from Pleasant Run, Smithfield Church of Christ and Bedford Church of Christ, colleagues from previous jobs, and his friends from Audubon, SCV, and historical societies. When he made a friend, Mike considered that person a friend for life. 

Mike passed away in Springdale, Arkansas on February 15, 2024 at the age of 72. 

He was preceded in death by his parents and his daughter, Laura. 

He is survived by his wife, Marilyn; step-sons, Kevin Lewis, Keith Lewis, and Kyle Lewis; two grandchildren, Katie Lewis and Oliver Patterson; and his sister, Tammy.

Mike deeply loved God, his family and friends, and our beautiful country. He treasured our freedom. He touched many lives, was dearly loved, greatly respected and will be deeply and sorely missed. 

Memorial Service: 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 8, 2024 at Bedford Church of Christ, 2401 Bedford Rd., Bedford, TX 76021. 


Memorial Service

11:00 am
Saturday, June 8, 2024
Bedford Church of Christ
2401 Bedford Rd.
Bedford, Texas, United States
(817) 283-7869
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Michael Patterson

In Loving Memory

Michael Patterson

1952 - 2024

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