Billy Pattat, 93, a loving father, great grandfather and brother peacefully departed this life on October 30, 2023. Billy was a true people person, whose life was spent loving his family and serving his community whether it was right here in Fayette County or across the world in the US Air Force.
Born in rural north Fayette County during the Great Depression, Billy grew up with a strong work ethic and a deep sense of community. He attended Garnett Elementary and graduated from Fayette County High School in 1949. Billy was an outgoing student who loved his classmates and teachers.
After the outbreak of the Korean Conflict, Billy proudly enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1950. His 20-year career in Personnel Services took him to many different places across the world, including Savannah, Georgia, San Francisco, California, Tokyo, San Antonio, Texas and the islands of Hawaii. During his service, he made many lifelong friends and created countless memories.
The love of his life, Tommie Featherstone Pattat, journeyed to join Billy at his first military assignment in San Francisco, where the two were married in 1951. They would enjoy a love story that spanned 69 years.
While serving in Korea, Billy’s first son Bill Pattat was born, and his second son, Steven Pattat, was born during the family’s military service in Tokyo. Billy’s daughters Laura Brandon and Linda Corbet made him the proud father of the first twins born at the new military hospital in San Antonio in 1960.
Billy's time in the Air Force culminated with the Meritorious Service Medal, typically awarded to military officers, for his work serving as a Past Chief Personnel of a Major Air Command when he retired as a Senior Master Sergeant in March of 1971.
The day Billy retired was the day he became the Golf Course Superintendent & Manager of the Somerville Country Club, where he served many club families with swimming, golf and club activities until 1979. After running the country club, Billy opened the Pattat Quick Stop, a family-run store off I-40 that served local farmers, neighbors and interstate travelers, including a few famous ones out of Nashville. His last profession was serving the littlest members of his community as a School Transportation Supervisor driving Fayette Academy athletes to games and young students on field trips. Billy officially retired at the end of the 2004 school year.
In 1990, Billy and Tommie built their retirement home on the same family farm where Billy was born 60 years earlier to parents Clarence E. Pattat and Ethel Melissa Sims.
The house became a family focal point, full of children, daughter-and-son-in-laws, grandchildren, and eventually great grandchildren. Lots of laughter was shared around the dining room table, especially during a high stakes game of Chicken Foot.
Billy enjoyed attending and volunteering at his church and vacationing with his family to visit his daughter in St. Augustine, Florida and Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Billy has now been reunited with his beloved wife, who passed away in May of 2020, his parents and his brothers, Clarence Pattat Jr. and Harold Pattat.
His legacy, wisdom and memory will be cherished by those he leaves behind – his dear sister Patricia (Lynn) Gaither, four children Bill (Alice) Pattat, Steve (Gina) Pattat, Laura (Barry) Brandon and Linda (Paul) Corbet, four grandchildren Jennifer (Jeremy) Hawkins, Will (Madeleine) Pattat, Michelle (Ben) Corbet and Audrey (Tanner) Elliott; and four great grandchildren Kaelin and Jakob Hawkins and Audrey and Emma Pattat.
Billy was laid to rest in the Pattat family cemetery beside the former Bethlehem United Methodist Church where he attended for many years. His service was held on Friday, November 3, 2023 at the Peebles Main Funeral Chapel in Somerville with Ryan Pattat officiating.
Those honored to serve as pallbearers were Conner Pattat, Jeremy Hawkins, Will Pattat, Tanner Elliott, Ben Rieben and Lloyd Hampton. Honorary pallbearers were Ben Bruce, June Walker, Curtis Park and Jakob Hawkins.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made in Billy’s memory to Shiloh Methodist Community Church, 4220 Yum Yum Road, Somerville, TN 38068.
A recording of the funeral service can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/qfcaOfUsSOQ