6 N Main • Caldwell, KS • 620-845-6424
December 7, 1929 ~ June 6, 2017
Joseph Donald (Don) Patton was the youngest of four children born to Joseph S. and Lola E. Tibbits Patton. He was born December 7, 1929 on the family farm southeast of Caldwell. Don was proud of the fact that his children were the fifth generation of Pattons to live on the farm.
Don graduated from Caldwell High School in the class of 1949. He was a member of the twelve year club, football and basketball teams. After graduation, Don helped his father farm. In 1951, Don was drafted into the Army and received his basic training at Fort Ord, California. From 1952 to 1953 he served his country on the front lines of the Korean Conflict.
Before his Army service, Don loved to attend dances at one of the halls west of Caldwell. He met a young woman at one of these dances. They had a few dates and went their separate ways. After returning from Korea, their paths crossed again. Anna Mae Sladek was the love of Don’s life; they were married on May 14, 1955 in Medford, Oklahoma. The couple continued dancing together throughout most of their 62 years of marriage.
Don farmed on his own and with his father. Upon his father’s retirement, he continues farming. At age eleven with his own team and wagon, he was pitching bundles to the thrashing machine. Later Don bought a swather and baler and did custom work. He even tried his hand as a rough necker on an oil rig. He ran a township road patrol, helped drill water wells, built terraces with a bulldozer, and did carpentry work.
During this time Don and Anna Mae raised three children. He loved to play sports and spent many evenings playing softball or shooting baskets with his kids. He was a 4-H project leader and helped at the 4-H fair in Wellington. Don loved to play card games and dominoes with his family. He served on the football chain gang for 28 years never missing a game even though the weather didn’t always cooperate.
He served as a commandeer of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and as president of the Sumner County Fair Board. He was an active member of the Central Christian Church for many years serving as a deacon and on various committees.
In April 2006, after Don survived a massive heart attack, he and Anna Mae decided to move to town. He sold most of the cattle and slowed down a bit but continued running the tractor and combine. He liked nothing better than to spend the day on the combine harvesting a beautiful field of golden wheat.
Since 2006, Don and Anna Mae have traveled to Yellowstone National Park, Black Hills National Park, Cheyenne Frontier Days, Braum’s Dairy Farm, and the Cherry Blossom Festival. They have celebrated high school and college graduations and weddings for their grandchildren. Don also had the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. on an Honor Flight for Korean War veterans. In an interview a few years ago, when asked what was his proudest accomplishment, Don replied, “My family.”
Don died early Tuesday morning, June 6, 2017, at his home in Caldwell, at the age of 87.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Lola Patton, and his brother and sisters, Jim Patton, Lucille Bruey, and Laverne Amend. He is survived by his wife of the home, twins, Don (Debbie) Patton and Donna (Roger) Basinger and youngest son, Dennis (Laura) Patton. Don has six grandchildren, Kimberly (Brandon) Patton Schneider, Joseph Patton, Bailey (Casey) Basinger Stiggins, Kelsey Basinger, Caleb Patton, and Noah Patton. Don also had one great granddaughter, Audrey Schneider.
In lieu of flowers and plants, memorials are encouraged to the following: Central Christian Church and the Kansas Honor Flight, in care of the mortuary.
Services will be held at two o’clock, Saturday, June 10, 2017, at the Central Christian Church, Caldwell, KS.