THE WORLD LOST a good man Sept. 22 when my good friend Rev. John Patterson passed away with his family surrounding him at the Grove City Medical Center.
To his friends and family, he was better known as ‘Jack.’
When I served as sports editor here at Allied News from 2002-09, Jack was one of my correspondents and did a fine job covering Lakeview and Mercer high schools.
Jack made my job easier, because I was able to focus on George Junior, Grove City and Slippery Rock.
Jack and I would clash from time-to-time about how stories should be constructed, but that never diminished my fondness of Jack and his beloved Dot — also an Allied News correspondent.
Despite our quarrels, I could depend on Jack to recount the game’s — always basketball and baseball — happenings accurately.
More importantly — it’s hard to find something more important in journalism than accuracy — but Jack had a deep heart felt compassion for the kids he covered and I’ve tried to emulate those feelings over the years.
He truly cared about the kids as well as the coaches that participated in competitive sports at Lakeview and Mercer during that time.
I specifically remember how happy he was when the Mercer boys basketball team finally won a game many moons ago during a tough time in the program’s storied history back in the early 2000s.
And how dismayed he felt when District 10 in its ultimate wisdom had Mercer and Lakeview play in the opening round of the basketball playoffs at Sharon High School, because one of his schools had to lose.
I’ll also remember that trademarked smile and the laugh.
He’d also ask about my wife and kids everytime he saw them.
But as his health faded, he wasn’t able to do games any more and it was a shame, because he’d always recount how sports writing was just a hobby.
But based on our conversations, I think it was more of a lifelong dream to cover sports and I was glad to have afforded him the opportunity to do so.
I just wish he would’ve had the chance to do it longer, but I know since Dot passed away several years ago, he’s ached to join her in Heaven.
While I’ll miss him, I know he’s in a better place.
I just wish I could’ve relayed some stories to his children, their spouses and grandchildren, but I didn’t find out about his death until the viewings and funeral had come and gone.
For one final time, thanks for all the hard work Jack.
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