Janice Patterson died Saturday morning, May 21, 2022 at her home in the Luray community. Graveside services were 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 24, at Unity Cemetery with her nephews serving as pallbearers. The family received friends on Monday from 5-8 p.m. at Pafford Funeral Home. If inclined, donations can be made to some of her favorite causes: Lois Loves Closet at First United Methodist Church where she was a member, St. Jude or to the Second Saturday Fund at the Broad Street Church of Christ where she attended with her husband.
She was the youngest of two girls born to the late Olvie T. and Lois White Yates on Oct. 17, 1950 in Lexington. She was a lifelong resident of Henderson County and a 1968 graduate of Lexington High School where she lettered four years on the girls’ basketball team. She then attended the University of Tennessee at Martin. At UT Martin she was a member of the school’s first rodeo team and in her senior year was offered a roster spot on the school’s first girls’ basketball team alongside basketball great, Pat Head Summit. Reluctantly, she declined the basketball offer in order to begin her assignments as a student teacher but forever kept her love of horses. Most every weekend, up until 1998, you could find her at one of the many saddle clubs, showing her horses. Teaching was another of her loves, and for 32 years, she taught either third grade or kindergarten at Caywood Elementary, even being awarded Teacher of the Year on two occasions. The bonds she made teaching lasted her lifetime; traveling with her friends was another highlight of her life. She was blessed with many talents; as an artist she could draw and paint, carve wood, make sculptures and learned calligraphy as well. Anything that she chose to do, she mastered. A teacher for many, a wife and mother of three children, a grandmother and “Nana” to Lena, Lila, Lona, a caregiver to everyone and a friend to many – this is what best describes her.
She is survived by her husband of almost 50 years, Tommy Patterson; their three children, Jerri Lynn (Robby) Sims, Jaclyn Burleson and Jared Patterson; granddaughters, Lena, Lila and Lona Sims; and countless nieces and nephews.
She was also preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Joy Maness.