Sarah Frances Naylor Patterson passed from this world to her reward on Feb. 19, 2022. She had battled for years against the disease that took her precious memories from her and kept her from what she dearly loved, hosting and caring for her family and friends. Funeral services were 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, at Shackelford Funeral Directors of Henderson – East Main Chapel with Bro. Dave Phillips officiating. Burial followed in Old Friendship Cemetery. The family received friends at East Main Chapel from 9-11 a.m. Wednesday. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be sent to the William Lindsey and Sarah Naylor Patterson Endowed Scholarship for nursing students at Freed-Hardeman University.
She was born in the midst of the Great Depression on Oct. 13, 1936 to George Thomas and Pauline Freeman Naylor as the fourth of six surviving children. She married the love of her life and stood faithfully at his side until his passing in Dec. 2020.
She graduated as salutatorian of her class and wanted to attend college, but her parents were unable to support her dream. She remained a diligent student and lover of education all her life and served as the right hand and trusted assistant to the Deans of three colleges: Freed-Hardeman, Oklahoma Christian and Lansing Community Colleges. In her last position, she also served as the tour director for LCC’s community outreach. In this role she served as the planner, director and chaperone for trips across the United States including Chicago, New York and even Hawaii. Though she loved Holland, Mich., her favorite destination was Mackinac Island, and she made many excursions to this beautiful place.
After her marriage, she led her husband to the Lord and raised three children of their own as well as numerous foster children. When her husband proposed leaving his job and another position in the family business to train himself for ministry, she never hesitated and encouraged him and worked to support the family to make this possible. A product of her frugal upbringing, she worked full-time and then came home to make her children’s clothes, refurnish furniture, sew curtains and drapes, even braiding rugs to make her home fashionable and inviting. She made Lindsey’s suits, dresses for Anita and Susan and clothes for Lynn, even a Valentine’s banquet tuxedo because she said she could make one cheaper than the cost for one rental (which she considered an unnecessary extravagance). Even after her retirement, she worked tirelessly to grow, can and freeze food to fill their freezers and feed themselves and neighbors. She hosted numerous guests, including Lectureship attendees who stayed with them and enjoyed her great hospitality and delicious cooking. She could not keep herself from being productive even watching television in their home. She constantly knitted and crocheted, making scores of pieces that she filled her home with and gave away. Wherever she lived and travelled, she remained an inquisitive, industrious and gracious Christian lady with southern manners and charm.
She loved her family so much and delighted in their successes, and so it was especially painful to see her memory stolen from her and for her beloved husband to witness as he cared for her in their home long beyond his capability, keeping the promise they made to each other. He visited her daily until the pandemic prevented this but was able to see and hug and kiss her for what would be his last opportunity before he became sick with the virus that took his life.
She is survived by her three children, Anthony Lynn (Ramona McDowell), Anita Gail (Robert DeTorres) and Susan Janette (Montgomery Nye); six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; her sister, Tommie Campbell; and her brother, Douglas Naylor.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Lindsey; her brother, Frank Naylor; and sisters, Nancy Mayfield and Mary Isbell.