Virginia T. Patton

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Virginia T. Patton, 87, of Sheridan died Wednesday night, April 20, 2016 at her home due to liver cancer. She was attended at bedside by her daughter-in-law Kathy & son Bill.

Jin was born September 5, 1928 in Forsyth, Montana to unwed parents who gave her up to the Montana State Orphanage in Twin Bridges. She was adopted by William D. and LaRena (nee Stone) Tovey of Dillon, Montana. She was the valedictorian of the Beaverhead County High School class of 1946, and she attended Montana State University (now the University of Montana) in Missoula for 2 years, where she joined the Delta Gamma Sorority. She then married the late John W. Patton of Dillon and they had 5 children over a span of 18 years. They moved to Sheridan, Wyoming in 1954.

Settling in Sheridan, Jin became the backbone of the Patton family. She was a great organizer and was a top-notch housewife when everyone respected that role. Jin and John joined JC’s and Newcomer’s. In Newcomer’s they joined a Pinochle group and they soon found people to play Bridge with. Her passion for the game of Bridge continued to the last months of her life and during the mid 60’s, she and John taught Bridge classes at the Y. Bridge education extended to her children as well, so there was always a foursome in the house.

In her younger years, Jin played the piano, sang and loved to dance. The Lawrence Welk Show was one of her favorites until her death and she taught all of her children how to dance, especially the Waltz and the Polka.

Jin was her husband’s one woman support team who knew all the names, faces, dates and anecdotes of people in their social, political and volunteer lives. She faithfully stood by John’s chosen business activities, his dedication to Rotary and their passion for Wyoming education. Jin was a great Precinct Committee chairwoman in her own right.

Jin, John and family were honored to host two Miss Indian America’s, gaining two more daughters; Sarah A. (Johnson) Luther in 1967 and Melanie (Tallmadge) Sainz in 1980. Jin was active in St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, serving on the St. Margaret’s Guild for years. She was a Cub Scout Leader for her 3 sons and a Girl Scout Leader for both of her daughters. Her lifelong love of reading proved her to be the best proofreader we know, stemming from her days in high school when she proofed for the Dillon Daily Tribune. To stay informed she read the Sheridan Press from front to back and to keep her mind sharp, she was a crossword slayer and master of Sudoku puzzles.

In 1972 Jin, John and Jamie moved to Kansas City, Missouri and later Denver, Colorado, as John made a career change. When he was called to Washington D.C., Jin and Jamie continued to stay in Denver but spent the summer with him, reveling in the Smithsonian. In 1977 they returned to Sheridan permanently and became members of the Tepee Guest Ranch in the Big Horn Mountains. There they enjoyed the great outdoors and Jin could wild bird watch and identify her beloved wild flowers. She found a wonderful new sisterhood when she joined P.E.O., Chapter AM in 1984, to promote the education of women.

In addition to her parents, Jin was preceded in death by one daughter Susan G. (George) Fletcher, and one grandson Jonathan Stratton, her step-mother Anna M. (nee Andersen) Tovey, and her sister Carol A. (nee Tovey) South. She is survived by son William D. “Bill” (Kathy) Patton of Sheridan, Wyoming; daughter Virginia L. “Jinny” (Brad) Stratton of Bozeman, Montana; her twin John C. “Jack” (Debbie) Patton of Cheyenne, Wyoming; son James T. “Jamie or JT” Patton of St. Cloud, Florida; 12 grandchildren; and 9 great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Sheridan, WY on Friday April 29, 2016 at 2:00 pm, MDT, with a reception to follow at the parish hall. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: the Sheridan Senior Center, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, and The John W. & Virginia T. Patton Scholarship Fund at Sheridan College, or a charity of one’s choice. Online condolences may be written at Arrangements are under the direction of Champion Funeral Home.