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William (Bill) Harvey Patton

December 15, 2020 | 2 comments

William (Bill) Harvey Patton, age 88, passed away peacefully on Sunday, December 13, 2020 at home, in Holmen, Wisconsin.

Bill was born on August 22, 1932 to Birtie and Hearne Patton. He was married to Rita Patton on June 10, 1965.

Bill served in the United States Navy from 1952-1956. He was stationed out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He still talked about being on “Hotel Street” to this day, the place of his first, and only tattoo. Bill returned to California where he accepted a job with Copper Penny. While working at the Copper Penny he met Rita, whom he loved, married and spent 55 years of his life with! Bill worked his way up from cook to Vice President of Operations for IHOP. Bill’s work ethic is beyond compare; he never called in sick a day in his life. He needed his “walking around money” for Rita and his “baby girl”, grand daughter Isabelle (Izzy) Pearl Patton.

Bill loved spending time boating with family and friends. He and his son Shawn spent many happy and fun filled hours on Lake Mead, Nevada. Bill also loved a cold beer and a game of cribbage; he was very hard to beat! Bill loved Frank Sinatra and sang along to every song; his favorite song was The Summer Wind, and many times he would take your hand and dance with you wherever we were; the kitchen, the living room, the beautiful yard he and Rita kept pristine. 

Bill was a gentle, warm and loving man. He made everyone he met feel special and important, spending hours listening to them with a smile on his face. Bill was generous to a fault; he would give all he had to those he loved. And Bill was an amazing chef; no one can make baby back ribs like Bill. He ran a chain of barbeque joint’s called Love’s Barbeque, in California. 

Bill is survived by his wife, Rita Patton, his son Shawn Anthony (Anne) Patton, his son Christopher (Caroline) Patton, daughter Rene (Michael) McClanahan, grandchildren, Matthew McClanahan, Connor McClanahan, Jessica Patton, Katie Patton, and Izzy Patton. He loved all his children and grandchildren very much. Bill also had many nieces and nephews whom he loved and kept in contact with over the years. 

He had a very special relationship with Izzy Patton and called her his “darling baby angel”. He doted on her and made her feel very loved and special every day of her life. Bill was also his son Shawn’s best man in every aspect of Shawn’s life. Bill was Shawn’s hero and champion. They spent countless hours talking, playing cribbage, having some beers, boating, and talking about politics.   

Bill is preceded in death by his parents, Birtie and Hearne Patton, sisters Wanda Querner, Mary (Snook) Brown, and Doug Patton.



  1. James R Camp

    I first met Bill when he hired me to manage a Love’s BBQ on Harbor Island in San Diego. After a few years Bill went to IHOP who at that time owned the Love’s chain. Many years later after a few job changes Bill and I hooked up together again working for Love’s which was now owned by Butterfield S&L and once again we were working for Ron Mesker who had been with IHOP back in Bill’s time there. Hard to remember all that happened that long ago but I remember we had lots of good times together with some good laughs and a few cold beers now and then. I will miss him very much. God rest his soul

  2. Dr. Bill Gerber

    I met Bill through my daughter, Anne-Marie, brought into his family through my daughter’s “YES” to Shawn’s proposal. I was to officiate at this wedding in the heart of the Mississippi River. As all of us gathered, Bill came to me with reddened face, confessing he had left the wedding ring back at Shawn’s apartment — 20 minutes away! The “I do” was just a tad late!! Over the years, as we visited Shawn, Anne, then Izzy Bill was always present to share his joy, his life, his laughter with us. Izzy was his favorite, “My baby girl”, and did she ‘milk’ her special Grandpa. He spent the years I knew him always giving of himself. Whether it was transporting the ‘elderly’ or students at the local school, I’m still trying to figure out how anyone can obtain a license to drive a school bus in his ’80’s’!!???? Bill held the family together with his effervescent smile, his calming demeanor, and his joy. I know that his heart will sustain all of us all our days.


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