Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Frank Patterson: Obituary

Vanza and Frank Patterson
Francis Oliver “Frank” Patterson, Sr. passed into the waiting arms of His Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on July 31, 2015. Frank was born June 25, 1940, in Blairsville, Union County, Georgia, the fourth child of Wilma Lee Stephens and Clinton Willie Patterson. Raised on a farm in the north Georgia mountains, Frank moved with his family at age 10 to High Point, NC. He was a graduate of High Point Central High School, Class of ’59. At age 16, Frank recognized his need to place his trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as his one and only means of salvation. The desire to please his Saviour would become the major driving force in his life. He joined the US Air Force in April, 1960, and was discharged in January, 1964 having served in Brunswick, Maine and then later Seymour Johnson AFB in Goldsboro, NC. He met the love of his life in 1961 when visiting his father in the hospital in High Point, NC. Vanza Davis was his father’s nurse, but a year later would become his bride, on June 1st, 1962. Frank and Vanza were married in Trinity, NC, around the time of his transfer to Seymour Johnson AFB. They had two sons, the eldest being Francis O. Patterson Jr (Chip) was born on May 27, 1963 in Goldsboro, NC. The younger was Charles Wesley Patterson (Wes), born February 5, 1968 in Decatur, GA, a suburb of Atlanta. Frank’s early career endeavors involved insurance sales, and furniture sales. However, in 1971, Frank and Vanza moved the family from Tucker, Ga to Winston-Salem, NC for him to attend Piedmont Bible College. Their hearts’ desire was to serve the Lord in any capacity, and eventually this led them to become missionaries on foreign fields. Frank spent a few weeks in Israel during the early ‘70’s with a team from Piedmont Bible College. In the summer of 1975, he and Vanza spent seven weeks in Brazil, believing that was where the Lord was leading them to serve full time. Frank graduated from Piedmont in 1976, and the family moved back to Decatur, Ga. In 1979, the family moved to the southeast Asian country of Bangladesh, arriving there on the 4th of July. He was involved predominantly in the government liaison work in those early years, but was also very involved in teaching and discipling young believers. By the mid ‘80’s he oversaw the planning, development and opening of a hospital in the northwestern part of the country near the town of Natore, Bangladesh. That hospital continues to thrive to this day. Frank and Vanza retired from service there in 1993, but continued working in local churches and colleges as the Lord opened doors. Occasionally, Frank made trips for months at a time to foreign countries to teach in Bible colleges, as his heart’s desire was to train young believers to study the Bible and continue the work in their own lands among their own people, as he believed the work was always greater than himself, and should be able to continue without him. Countries that Frank invested himself personally into the lives of men and women for that very purpose, include Myanmar (formerly Burma), Ukraine, India, Iraq (in 2008), and Colombia. The first three of those included multiple stints of service, all of which were three to four months at a time. Frank loved to teach, and he loved to learn, and he did both to his dying days. He received two masters degrees, and his doctorate (DMin) from Liberty University, the latter of which occurred in 2005 at the age of 65. He also served as the Alumni Coordinator of Piedmont Bible College, as well as several years of teaching at Calvary Baptist Bible College & Seminary in King, NC. He developed curricula for many purposes, most of which involved courses for use in churches and colleges. For many years he served the elderly saints in the several churches in which he and Vanza attended. Frank loved his family more than life. He always made over his grandchildren especially. Frank is survived by his bride and the love of his life Vanza, two sons Francis Oliver Patterson, Jr. “Chip” and wife Jully, Lynchburg, Va., and Charles Wesley Patterson, Sr. “Wes” and wife Ginna, Winston-Salem, NC; three grandchildren, Morgan Muszall and husband Shane, Wes Patterson Jr., and Kaity McCormick and husband Jayme; one sister Jean Kilstrom, Grayson, Ga.; one brother Derral Patterson and wife Frankie, Loganville, Ga.; one special nephew George Lee Davis Jr., Lexington, NC, and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by two brothers, Baxley and Kenneth. The funeral will be held at Salem Baptist Church, 429 South Broad Street, Winston-Salem, NC, on Monday, August 3rd at 2:00 PM, with visitation prior to the service from noon to 2:00. Burial will be at Forsyth Memorial Park following the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home, 101 Hospice Ln, Winston-Salem, NC 27103.