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Hiram Jerome ‘Pat’ Patterson

Hiram Jerome “Pat” Patterson II, of Ocean Springs, departed this life at the age of 56 on May 27, 2012. He died at Oschner Medical Center in New Orleans due to cardiac complications.

     Pat was born to Donald Baker Patterson and Carolyn Givens Patterson of Brookhaven, at King’s Daughters Hospital in 1955. He was the eldest of five children, a brother to four younger sisters. His childhood was spent in Brookhaven. He graduated at 19 from Saint Andrew’s in Sewanee, Tenn., and later received a bachelor’s degree in literature from Belhaven University.

     He spent his young adulthood teaching and then began environmental work where he served as the development director of the Mississippi Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. Pat moved on to be director of the Wings of America program in Washington D.C. At the time of his death, Pat worked with The Natural Resource Investment Group. He lived the majority of his life in his state of origin striving to preserve its environmental integrity and vast landscapes. The land spoke to him, singing a complex song, which only he could understand. He heard the voice of every bird, the waves of every breeze, the quake of every pine and live oak.

     He was an avid reader, a lover of literature, and a master of the spoken word–finding great beauty in the expansiveness of the imagination.

     He was a venerate father, an ardent friend, and an enormous presence. Always vibrant and booming, he leaves an enormous hole in the souls of his family and friends.

     Pat is preceded in death by his mother Carolyn Givens Patterson of Brookhaven.

     He is survived by his father Donald Baker Patterson of Brookhaven, his sisters Peggy Skattebo of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Beth Mills of Mesa, Ariz.; Jane Patterson Auld of Falls Church, Va.; and Lida Caraway of Jackson; the love of his life, Melissa Johnson of Ocean Springs; his daughters, Helen Rose Patterson and Lillian Alford Patterson of Ocean Springs; and his beloved dogs, Molly and Angus.

     Memorials can be given to the American Bird Conservancy (www.abcbirds.org) in remembrance of Pat.

     Memorial services will be held on Oct. 20, 2012 at his home in Ocean Springs.