|George Eugene Patterson
George E. Patterson, 86, passed away at the Veterans Home of California in Yountville, CA on December 23, 2008.
He was born in Jamaica, New York to George and Lucy (Fortman) Patterson. His father died when George was only five years old, and since his mother wasn’t able to care for him and his brother by herself, George grew up in a German (Lutheran) orphanage, The Wartburg Orphans’ Farm School, in Mount Vernon, NY.
He served in the Army during World War II. He was hospitalized in France with severe frostbite after fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. Following his release from the hospital, George was put in charge of German prisoners of war because of his ability to speak German, which he had learned at the Wartburg School.
After his honorable discharge, he worked for twenty years as an electrician for the New York Central Railroad Co. In 1960, he married Wilhelmina Wannamaker and became a loving father to her son, Charles. In 1995, George moved to Sacramento, California to live with Charles and his wife and, in 1997, he moved to the Veterans Home in Yountville.
George was very active at the Home. He loved the outdoors and gardening and he was very active in the Garden Club. He met his second wife, Betty, while both were doing volunteer work at the Armistice Museum on the Home grounds. They married in 2001 and continued their volunteer activities – George received a recognition pin for accruing over 5000 hours of volunteer work. He was also passionate about history, especially the Civil War, and horse racing – he loved following the horses, their trainers, and the jockeys.
His first wife, Wilhelmina, predeceased him. He is survived by his wife, Betty of Napa; son and daughter-in=law, Charles and Jean Wannamaker of Santa Rosa; brother and sister-in-law, James and Jeanne Patterson of New York; five stepchildren; nine grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Final arrangements were under the direction of the U.C. Davis School of Medicine.
He was honored at the Remembrance Service held on Thursday, January 15, 2009, at 10:00 AM in the Memorial Chapel.