MISSOULA — Mary Jo Patton, aged 78 years, a longtime resident of Missoula, passed away on the 8th of October 2019 of natural causes. She was born to Michael and Frances Harrington on Jan. 26, 1941, into an Irish American mining family in Butte.
Mary Jo met and married Allen Patton in 1960 in Hamilton, the couple had four children Mark, Gary, Eric and Ann. Allen was employed by the U.S. Forest Service which stationed the family in wonderful locations for enjoying the outdoors to include Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, Great Falls, Grangeville, Idaho and finally Missoula.
After raising her children, Mary Jo attended nursing school and earned a LPN, and there after worked as a hospice nurse and nursing volunteer, she was aided in her work by a deep religious faith in God and love of people to include the loving faith community of the First United Methodist Church. She was a poet who had a special love for people, nature and animals with a vision that allowed her to see beyond the ordinary.
Mary Jo’s life can be summed up in three words, outgoing, ardent and generous. Her outgoing nature seemed to attract a pantheon of good friends who were there for her in good times and bad, when she struggled with health issues. She was a lifelong learner and a voracious reader of books, especially history. Mary Jo gave generously of herself to her family, friends and community.
She is survived by her brother, John Edmond Harrington; sister, Jean Harrington; sister-in-law, Vina Dugan; sons, LTC Mark Patton, Gary Patton, and daughter, Ann Patton; daughters-in-law, Belkys Melero, Lisa Patton, Rui Patton; and grandchildren, Alexander, Sabrina, Hannah and Tessa Patton.
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She is predeceased by her husband of 59 years, Allen, parents and infant son, Eric.
Of special note was the fine attention Mary Jo received towards the end of her life by Theresa O’lynn, nurses/aides from Partners in Home Care, Aspen, Ryann, Dani, Chalain and Dan, as well as the staff of the Auberge Assisted Living and The Village Nursing Home.
Services will be held at the Missoula First United Methodist Church on Friday Oct. 11, 2019. Visitation at 4 p.m. and Memorial at 5 p.m.
Mary Jo will be missed by Family and Friends as well as her dog, Porter. She will be interred in the Victor Cemetery. Donations can be made to the Missoula Animal Shelter and the First United Methodist Church of Missoula.