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Obituary: William J. Patterson, Greenwood

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William J. (“Bill,” “Chief”) Patterson, born Sept. 1, 1933, was called home to the Lord on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. He was a resident of Greenwood.

Bill married Mary “Dolly” (Rosebrock) Patterson on Oct. 20, 1951. She survives. Other survivors include his children, Agnes (Tom) Hawley, Bill (Karen) Patterson, John (Kaye) Patterson, Mike (Debbie) Patterson, Patty (Mike) Kaschak, Dan Patterson, Mary Jo (Dave) McGowan, Tim (Sher) Patterson, Chris (Kelli) Patterson, Susie (Joe) Shanks; daughter-in-law, Jill Patterson; 25 grandchildren; and 23 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by two sons, Matt and Bob Patterson; one granddaughter; and one great-granddaughter.

He joined the Indianapolis Fire Department Dec. 1, 1955. He held every rank in the department, being appointed chief of the department on Dec. 29, 1975, by Mayor Richard Lugar. He retired as chief from the IFD in 1979. He was director of training, safety and public relations at Reilly Tar and Chemical from 1979 to 1981. He was appointed Indiana State Director of Civil Defense and Emergency Management by Gov. Robert Orr in 1981. He then became deputy state fire marshal in 1989 and retired in 1996.

He was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel by Gov. Martha Layne Collins in 1985. He was named a Sagamore of the Wabash by Gov. Orr in 1988.

Volunteer services included chairman of the Perry Township Republican Party, state treasurer of the Indiana Firefighters Association, president of the Indiana Fire Chiefs Association, president of the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation, member of the White River Township Fire District Board of Directors for eight years, treasurer for Central Nine Career Center, coach in CYO basketball and industrial safety classes instructor at IUPUI.

He was an active member of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Franklin for 31 years.

Bill enjoyed spending time with his family, fishing, boating and playing golf.

Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Daniel F. O’Riley Funeral Home, 6107 S. East St. (U.S. 31 South), Indianapolis. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Monday at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, 114 Lancelot Drive, Franklin.

Memorial contributions may be made to United Cerebral Palsy Association of Central Indiana, IU Simon Cancer Center or St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church.

Online condolences may be shared with the family at orileyfuneralhome.com.

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