Laura Mae Patterson
Laura Mae Patterson, born February 8, 1928, died at her home on December 24, 2021 of heart failure. She was 93 years old.
She is survived by her daughter Caroline Patterson (Fred Haefele) and her granddaughter Phoebe and her grandson Tobin; his son, John F. Patterson III; and her daughter Cathleen Morrison (Michael Morrison) of Portland, Oregon; granddaughter Halley Lopez (Jake Lopez) great grandson Lorenz of Central Point, Oregon; and Georgia Mae Morrison (David Nguyen) and her great-granddaughter Stella of Portland, Oregon.
Born Laura Mae Moore of Grace and Tom Moore in Patchogue, Long Island, two artists, Laura inherited a love of art and music from her parents. When her father lost her job as a commercial artist with Wurlitzer pianos during the Depression, she traveled with her parents and sisters, Harriet and Grace in the 1930s to her father’s new job as a medical illustrator for the Rocky Mountain Lab in Hamilton, Montana. . While his father drew medical posters about ticks at work, during his off hours he painted portraits of the Salish Bitterroots. Here Laura has learned to love the outdoors. As she was about to have her long black braid cut at the hairdresser, he pulled her over and sent her home so he could have her portrait done. She had a best friend, Bonnie Dee: one Christmas, they bought each other a box of olives. Her father left the family in the mid-1930s. Her mother Grace found a job in Washington, DC, and Laura moved to live with her younger sister Harriet in Glasgow, where she graduated from high school.
It was at the University of Montana, where she studied business education and sang in the choir, that she met her 57-year-old husband, John F. Patterson, Jr. He saw her sing in the choir – her black pageboy, her high cheekbones and red lipstick – and was hit. He invited her to a dance – in fact, he asked her to every dance that year, even accompanying her on a choir trip so she wouldn’t go out with anyone else. John Patterson proposed to her at Bailey’s Tea Room in 1948 and they were married on August 21, 1948. A lover of dresses, shoes and hats, she worked in a clothing store in Missoula and later said he was hard not to carry his paycheck with his back. She was owned by Kappa Kappa Epilson Sorority, was a finalist for Miss Montana, and graduated in Business Education in 1948. She helped her husband, Jack Patterson, study law by teaching at Victor School in the years. 1950, remaining at the educational institution. during the week and back home on weekends. After Jack passed his bar exam, they moved into the house Jack’s grandfather built on Fifth Street, where they raised three children. They also built a year-round leasehold on Lake Pierce in 1953.
A worker and citizen, Laura has supported her family and community in so many ways. She has served as a polling agent for many elections. She was initiated into Chapter H of PEO on February 1, 1955, and later helped found Chapter Z. She has volunteered for the Methodist Church, the Missoula Symphony Association, the Friendship Force, and has volunteered in in schools as a housewife and in school libraries.
Laura has made her home a mecca for her family, hosting countless Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. In the summers, when aunts and her mother came to visit her, she baked countless sugar cookies and brewed countless pots of tea where at 4:30 a.m. each day, women could come together to solve world problems. A dog lover, not to mention great bargains, she was famous for the 100 pounds of chicken feed that came with 25 free chicks – all roosters – that graced the yard one summer to our neighbors’ delight.
She encouraged her three children to obtain university degrees and even higher degrees in their chosen fields. Mother tiger before her time, she asked her children to have the piano lessons that she wished she had. She enjoyed listening to concerts at the Missoula Symphony, reading good literature, playing bridge with her fifty-year-old bridge group and at the Senior Citizens Center. She and Jack have traveled to China, Taiwan, Eastern Europe, Germany and Scotland; after her death she visited Florida, California and Hawaii three times.
Condolences can be sent to the family at 304 S. 5th Street East. The family will hold a small private service at the cemetery. In the summer, a larger memorial will be held at the UCC Congregational Church.
Posted by Missoulian on Jan 9, 2022.