Funeral services for 83-year-old Laura B. Patterson, 18 Prospect Street, Norwood, will be held Monday, February 7 at 4 p.m. at the Norwood Congregational Church with Rev. Walter Smith presiding. A spring burial will be held in Riverside cemetery, Norwood. Friends may call at the Buck Funeral Home in Norwood on Monday from 1 p.m. until the time of the funeral. Mrs. Patterson passed away early Friday morning, February 4, 2011 at her home.
Mrs. Patterson is survived by her three daughters, Susan and Dr. James Holland, Thomasville, GA; Emily Lynch, Framingham, Mass.; Elizabeth “Betsy” Klein, Norwood and her three step-sons; Gerald and Beth Patterson, Potsdam, Ian Patterson, Peru, and Kevin Patterson, CA. She is also survived by her seven grandchildren, Jamie Holland, Christopher Holland, Colleen Holland, Isaiah Patterson, Xavier Patterson, Jennifer Lynch and Stacy Klein.
Born in Colton on February 7, 1927, Laura was raised in Norwood as the adopted daughter of Miss Eva Bishop, a teacher in the Norwood and Norwood-Norfolk Schools. Following her 1945 graduation from Norwood High School, Laura matriculated at St. Lawrence University as a Pre-Med student, and with a major in chemistry was graduated cum laude in 1949.
Following marriage to Dean Phalen and starting of a family together, she commenced her career in education in 1953 as a science teacher at the newly opened Norwood-Norfolk Junior-Senior High School. During the next thirty years she taught every high school science course in the school’s offerings, but is particularly remembered for her accomplishments as a teacher of chemistry and physics. In addition to her classroom work she was extremely active in the school’s extracurricular program, serving as advisor to the Richard W. Hann Chapter of the National Honor Society for thirteen years, as the cheerleading advisor, and as a class sponsor on a number of occasions. The 1964 and 1979 editions of The Keystoner, the NNCS yearbook, was dedicated to her. Also during this period, she served two separate terms as President of the Norwood-Norfolk Central Teachers’ Association.
Following the untimely 1966 death of her husband Dean, she married Gerald Patterson in 1971. Mr. Patterson passed away in 1991 following a lengthy illness.
In 1983, Mrs. Patterson left classroom teaching to assume the newly created position of Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, a post she occupied until her retirement in 1986. In the time following this, she was active as a Supervisor of Student Teachers for the State University College at Potsdam, and also more recently as a representative of the grant-funded Schoolwide Program, administered by the New York State Education Department. During that time she was honored by SUNY Potsdam as a Sponsor Teacher of the year. In 1996 Mrs. Patterson was elected to the Norwood-Norfolk Central School Board of Education, and served one five year term and one three year term before retiring from the board in 2004. At that time the Teachers’ Association presented her with its Friend of Education Award.
Memorial donations can be made to the Norwood-Norfolk Central School in her memory.
Memories and condolences may be shared online at www.buckfuneralhome.com .
The Buck Funeral Home in Norwood is serving the family of Laura B. Patterson.