Joseph G. Patten, age 90 (or as he said, “90 and a half” or as his twin brother said “90 too”) passed away Sunday, May 3, 2020. Joseph was born quite unexpectedly 10 minutes after his brother on November 7, 1929 in Piqua Ohio, to the late James and Helen Patten.
Joseph is survived by his twin brother John Patten of Troy. He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years Elizabeth Ann (Norris) Patten in 2014, brother Paul Patten of Troy in 2017, sister-in-law Billie Patten of Troy in 2019, and brother-in-law Willis Friend of Tipp City in 2014. Joseph is also survived by sisters-in-law Helen Friend of Tipp City and Marianne Patten of Scottsdale AZ and by several wonderful nieces and nephews. He was extremely appreciative of his favorite niece and primary caretaker Cheryl Chaney of Troy.
A graduate of Tipp City High School and Ohio State, Joseph lived his entire life in Miami County on family farms except for a stint courtesy of the United States Army National Guard and a conflict in Korea. Joseph began his professional career at Process Equipment in Tipp City and then worked, played and retired after 24 years from Spectra-Physics Laserplane. Joseph was an inventor and was the builder of the world’s first laser plane system. He was so proud that the Smithsonian foraged in his basement.
Joseph’s life is defined by his skills, his creations and contributions to the community. Joseph designed and built. He is well known for his parade floats, building the first in 1948 and so many more, innovative at the time as self-propelled and with animation. But his favorite build was the replica of a San Francisco Cable Car and as the conductor, drove it in all local parades. In 1976 he received the Golden Hammer Award issued by Mechanix Illustrated for the design and build of the cable car. In 1994, he and his twin brother served as the Strawberry Festival Grand Marshals in recognition of their years of participation in all the area parades and festivals. (Seriously anyone in need of float paper and festooning please call the family.) He designed and dropped the 2000 Strawberry Ball on New Year’s Eve, and what is Christmas without the “Cube” on Swailes Road? He built scale models of the Wright Flyer, Erie Canal Boat, and the Lincoln train several of which can be found throughout the community in museums. And he is known among friends and family for having the largest golf ball collection of over 10,000 balls that he plucked from the creek running through the farm. Joseph was designing and building small projects daily until the very end.
Joseph was a member of the International Twins Association, a member of the Cushman Club of America and a former Auxiliary State Highway patrol officer.
Uncle Joe was a genius, a perfectionist and a master builder. He was loved and will be greatly missed.
Visitation will be from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Thursday, May 7 at Fisher-Cheney Funeral Home, Troy. Social distancing and masks are requested. A gravesite service for family and invited guests will be held immediately after at Riverside Cemetery, Troy with Military Honors by the Veterans Memorial Honor Guard of Troy. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of Miami County.
Arrangements entrusted to Fisher-Cheney Funeral Home, Troy, OH.
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