Although the last few weeks have been a time of mourning  as I reflect back on my Daddy’s almost 88 years, it has also been a time of thankfulness and reflecting on God’s provision.  One of Daddy’s doctors often joked that he wondered “which of his lives” my Daddy was on.  I can think of many times over the past 50 years that his life was spared:  from a car wreck in the 60’s (he insisted on seat belts before they were even standard on a car!) to two heart surgeries to a bout with bilateral pneumonia.  Over the past three years he also survived several life threatening infections.  My two sisters and I thought it only fitting to host a celebration of his life with family and friends after his memorial service.  The historical Community House in Pontotoc, Mississippi was the setting for the gathering after his memorial service on August 25, 2013. A little over ten years ago, this was the setting for his retirement from 48 years of service to the medical community.


My aunt, Pat Hall, and cousin, Sharon Young so graciously volunteered to make preparations for the event.  Assisting them was another aunt, Joann McDaniel.  Family friend, Kathy Cruse, also help to ensure that the celebration was perfect in every way.  Most of the interior photography was done by family friend, Tracy Kramer.

Trish Houpt, a talented floral designer, from Pontotoc Floral Company and Gifts, incorporated magnolia, English ivy, and chestnut tree foliage from our family’s garden along with Circus roses, Gerbera daisies, sunflowers,  Asiatic Lilies and Hypericum berries into the arrangements.



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Gorgeous sunflowers were donated by Cherry Creek Orchards in Pontotoc.


A grapevine wreath, made by my Mother years ago, was the focal point of the stacked stone fireplace in the main receiving area. Contemporary arrangements of sunflowers and fresh curly willow in large glass cylinders flanked a fresh garland of magnolias and flowers while magnolia stems and pods filled the fireplace.


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Vintage brass urns and containers from my Mother’s collection held lovely arrangements in hues of early fall colors on the serving tables and dining tables.

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A memorabilia table chronicled events and family photographs throughout my Daddy’s life.


What an unforgettable afternoon celebrating the life of  a beloved Father, physician, friend and mentor!


Fred Hood, administrator at North Mississippi Medical Center – Pontotoc, shared this with me several months ago:

When Norman Rockwell wanted to paint a doctor, he had the image of Dr. John Patterson in mind.  He is the quintessential Southern Gentleman Doctor, and you can add  to that “friend..husband..father..grandfather…etc…etc..etc…”



  1. ML, this beautiful post brought tears to my eyes and also peace and comfort. I always knew your home in
    Mississippi would be a special place and I have had your dad on my heart for a long time now…and know you
    and your precious family will continue to stand tall and strong because you have had great parents to hand
    you the road map and pass down the torch. Now you are doing that as well to your crew. You are a classy lady all the way.
    God Bless and Love you dearly,

    • Thanks for your sweet words, Lisa. I wish you could have known him. He had a true servant’s heart, and touched so many lives as a practicing physician and even when his role was reversed to that of a patient these last three years.

  2. How blessed Pontotoc was to have him as a family physician, humanitarian, friend, and mentor…and how blessed you and your sisters were to have him as your beloved Daddy! I agree that Norman Rockwell had him in mind! Blessings and prayers to you and your sisters during this sad time. May the precious memories you shared comfort you! Hugs!

  3. Mary Lise, This is so beautiful, your father was such a kind and loving man. He will be greatly missed and forever in the hearts of many from Pontotoc and many surrounding areas. You and your beautiful family are always in my prayers.

  4. Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos. What a great tribute you and your sister are of your thoughtful, loving, devoted parents. Praying that God will bless you both in the days ahead.

    Love, Lori

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