A true Southern gentleman, a lawyer’s lawyer, and a mentor to many, John Howell Patterson, III, passed away peacefully May 6, 2017. The son and father of Florida lawyers, John was born in Washington, DC on June 3, 1924, where his father attended George Washington University School of Law and was Secretary to Florida Senator Duncan U. Fletcher. John, whose ancestors settled in the Territory of West Florida circa 1821, was a fourth generation Floridian.
John was raised in Tallahassee, Florida, where he graduated from Leon High School in 1942. He attended Davidson College, but left in 1943 to join the Navy. John was taught to fly at Naval Airfield Chapman in Miami (by Verna Burke of the 99 Club of pioneer female aviators), and he trained at Naval Air Station Memphis. John served as an air navigator on PBY Catalinas and PBM Mariners during WWII through 1946, and as a Naval Air Intelligence Officer, Lieutenant, through 1958.
In May of 1947, John was the first male student to register at Florida State University, where he was a founding member of the Upsilon Chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and a charter member of the Gold Key Honorary Society. He graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce in 1948 and from the University of Miami School of Law in 1953. John practiced law for 55 years and was rated AV Preeminent by the Martindale-Hubbell. He was an Attorney’s Title Insurance Fund Agent and a partner with: Worley, Gautier & Patterson; Mershon, Sawyer, Johnston, Dunwody & Cole; Holland & Knight; Ezell, Menendez & Patterson; and Patterson & Sweeny.
John married Jeanne (DuPree) Patterson of Miami in 1949, and they were blessed with three children, Jeanne (Patterson) Rawlings, Susan DuPree Patterson, and John Howell Patterson, Jr. John was preceded in death by his parents, John Howell Patterson, Jr. and Naomi (Culp) Patterson, and by his wife, Jeanne and sister, Priscilla (Patterson) Williams. John is survived by his sister, Betty (Patterson) Ajemian and his three children; his daughter-in-law, Janice (Harvatt) Patterson; his four grandchildren, John H. Patterson, III (Tanya), Charlotte DuPree Patterson, Patrick James Patterson and Rachel Carr Patterson; and his five great-grandchildren, Aubrey Elizabeth Patterson, Cain Andrew Patterson, Evelyn Marie Patterson, Patrick James Patterson, Jr., and John Howell Patterson, IV.
John was an avid outdoorsman, a member of the Prairie Creek Hunt Club and a talented photographer, chef and storyteller; he loved music and researched genealogy. A memorial service in Miami will be announced at a later date.
Because Mr. Patterson was the first male to enroll at FSU, the Tallahassee Democrat also featured him in an FSU 70th Anniversay article published May 13, 2017, the link to which is: http://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2017/05/13/florida-state-university-pays-tribute-70-years-coed-university/101570064/