James Franklin Patterson

Photo of James Franklin Patterson
James Franklin "Jim" Patterson, 73, of Fort Smith, Ark., passed away April 13, 2017, at Legacy Health and Rehabilitation Center in Fort Smith. He was born Jan. 17, 1944, in Clarksville, Ark., to the late Franklin Marion (F. M.) and Lucy Leo Patterson and moved to Fort Smith with his family as a child. He graduated from Fort Smith High School and Arkansas Tech University. After serving two years as an officer in the U.S. Army stationed in Germany, he moved back to Fort Smith to raise a family. He owned and managed Patterson Construction, Inc. in Fort Smith and was a master woodworker. He later obtained a master's degree and became a vocational rehabilitation counselor working in Springfield, Mo., and later in Fort Smith. He served as President of the Fort Smith Board of Realtors, President of the Remodeler's Council of the National Association of Homebuilders, and Vice President of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. He was a member of the Arkansas Governor's Task Force for Small Business. He served on the board of the Fort Smith Girls Shelter and was President of the Sebastian County Girls Softball League and Vice President of the Crawford County Horseman's Association. He was a softball coach in the Sebastian County Girls Softball League for 18 years. He coached and sponsored teams including Patterson's Patriots to three state championships and fifth and sixth place finishes in national tournaments. He also enjoyed the outdoors as a huntsman, fisherman, photographer, and hiker. He was preceded in death by his parents and his beloved sister Beverly Thomas. Jim is survived by his wife, Nancy; two sons, Steve Patterson (Jennifer) of Washington DC, and John Patterson of Van Buren, Ark., two daughters, Karen Freeman of Fayetteville, Ark., and Laura Cote (Jay) also of Fayetteville, two brothers, Leo Patterson (Sarah) of Pottsville, Ark., and David Patterson (Brenda) of Fort Smith, and nine grandchildren. Visitation was held from 5-7 p.m. at Edwards Funeral Home in Fort Smith on April 17, 2017. A funeral service was held at 10:30 a.m. on April 18, 2017, at First United Methodist Church in Fort Smith, with burial to follow at the U.S. National Cemetery in Fort Smith. Services are under the direction of Edwards Funeral Home. Pallbearers were Ed Nally, Greg Nally, Brandon Patterson, Bryan Patterson, Jacob Patterson, and John Patterson. The family would like to express special thanks to the staff of Legacy Health and Rehabilitation Center; Peachtree Hospice; and Dr. Humdum Durrani, Dr. Joseph Pedersen, Connie Ward, Mary Johnson, and the staff of Mercy Clinic Oncology. In lieu of flowers, please send memorials, payable to Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, to the James F. Patterson Memorial, c/o Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center, 8300 Wells Lake Road, Fort Smith, Ark. 72916. To sign an online guestbook, visit

Published April 30, 2017