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Honoring A Life Well Lived—Tributes to Alabama Rep. Jim Patterson

Rep Donnie Chesteen (left) with his longtime dear friend, Rep. Jim Patterson (right) in 2011 at their House inauguration (Facebook)

Below is a compilation of excerpts from tributes written in the past 24 hours that honor the life of Representative Jim Patterson.

Clearly, Jim was more than a politician. He was a Christian man, a devoted husband, a loving father, and a loyal friend. He was a lover of people who understood the importance of serving “the least of these.” He was not defined by what he knew, or even what he ahieved, though he was a wise man who achieved a great deal. His life was defined by how he treated others.

In posting these excerpts from Facebook, we hope to honor the memory of a man who left a treasured legacy of a life well lived.


Rep. Donnie Chesteen:

Jim was a true joy to know, whether you personally knew him or knew of him. He lit up every room he entered with his smile and charisma. His positivity, genuineness, and heart of gold were contagious. Jim had a true servant’s heart. He loved The Lord with every fiber of his being and anyone who knew Jim witnessed how much he valued his faith and was a firm believer in placing it first, above all else. Jim’s walk as a man of faith, his kind heart, selflessness and compassion are just a few qualities which exemplify his humble character. He had a zest for life. The loss of Jim will impact many people, but knowing his strong faith brings me much peace. I have comfort in knowing when Jim entered into the gates of Heaven, he heard these words, “Well done thy good and faithful servant.” I love and will miss you more than you could ever imagine my brother, Jim Patterson.

Rep. Barry Moore:

Incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Rep. Jim Patterson. Jim was one of a kind. He was a great American and a hard-working legislator. He was also my friend. He will be missed. If you have an autistic loved one, hug them tonight and tell them Jim fought for them until the end. He stood for what he believed in, regardless of the cost. Praying for Susan Patterson and Jim’s family.

Rep. Cam Ward:

I am absolutely heartbroken about the passing of Rep Jim Patterson. He was a champion of the autism community and a good public servant for his district. His dedication to his wonderful wife Susan Patterson, his family and to his friends was absolutely an inspiration to everyone who knew him. The world was a better place because of him. God be with this family!

Todd Panter:

When he got elected I believe what the Lord had been preparing him for all his life became a reality. He gave me hope in politicians again. There was so many things he did and people he helped that was behind the scenes.,,,that few knew about. He was a regular supporter of our ministry and has blessed us greatly. He was what the world would call a self-made man…though Jim knew that his success came from the Lord. He will be missed by many including Denise and I but he left behind in his family and others his love, wonderful memories and a set of values that will live on.

Denise Tate:

I have a million stories of Jim Patterson. They all make me laugh. He had such an infectious personality. He was larger than life. I can only say something that Brother Sammy Gilbreath once said. Either what we have believed is real or it is not. I believe that Jim is with our Heavenly Father at this moment. I know he has won the victory. He has run the race. I believe our Father said, well done my good and faithful servant.

Jim Perdue:

It was an honor to serve with Rep. Jim Patterson in public service. He was a champion of good causes. He stood tall for people who needed a champion.

Karen Millican:

I will never forget this man’s big personality, big love for his family, and big go-out-of-his-way-and-take-precious-time-for-somebody-he-doesn’t-know-because-he-truly-cares actions. He was a great man!!

Robin Rozar:

I remember when he first announced he was running for office he said he would work tirelessly to help North Alabama and never wavier in his convictions, his beliefs. He did exactly what he said he would do. He worked hard to lead by example in Montgomery, his community, and his church. Jim was a example for many of us to strive to be. I know you are rejoicing in heaven.

Nathan Curry:

I had the good fortune of sitting down with Rep. Jim Patterson recently at his home over coffee. I appreciated the invitation, and the depths of our conversation. Jim was frank and direct—things I both admire and appreciate. He may not have known how his words impacted me, but I’m using his advice to this day. Thank you Jim for your service to Alabama, and you will be missed.

I’m thankful for the impact you’ve had on our schools, our children and families. You knew how to light up a room, and you could talk! Thank you for your words of wisdom to me as a new school board member, as you had served in that role for many years.

Thank you Jim. Rest well.

Dexter Hern:

Some people come into your life and leave a lasting impact. Rep Jim Patterson was one of those people. It is obvious that these two angel boys immediately took to him; they won his heart, and obviously, he won theirs. He got some good hugs from those two (they are professional huggers), but even in that nice suit, he never flinched when getting down on their level to hug back! He fought tirelessly for these boys and many others during Leni’s Law and during Autism Insurance Reform. It is hard to believe that the same man who posted requesting our prayers last night is no longer here tonight. However, the impact and legacy his work left will bless many for years to come.

Laci Colvert:

Today has been a day with such tragedy and loss. A true hero was lost today in Alabama. House Representative Jim Patterson was suddenly taken from his earthly body today. He is a hero to Coop, myself, and every family in Alabama affected by autism. If it was not for his courage and persistence, insurance would still not cover Autism therapies. He was a great man, a humble man, and a godly man, whom I will forever be grateful. My prayers are with his family and all those that loved him. #hb284

Mary Vaugh Pettus:

Representative Jim Patterson will be missed. He was a dear friend, kind hearted, loved his family dearly and the Lord. He loved Susan’s good cooking and always bragged about his sweet wife. He was loved by so many. The Alabama ball games will not be the same without Jim. Prayers for our precious Susan and the family.