James Madison Patterson was born Aug. 2, 1924, in Stockton, Calif., to James Madison
Patterson, Sr. and Frances Abigail (Abby) Frost.
Jim lived on a ranch on an island in the San Joaquin River Delta in the heart of the great
agricultural San Joaquin Valley until he was five years old and then moved near Stockton. He
spent many summers working with his father and brothers helping to thresh the grain they grew
Jim inherited tremendous engineering talents from his father and especially his Grandpa
Pat. At a young age he learned to fabricate metal parts with a lathe, how to weld and use a
cutting torch, and even some old-time blacksmithing.
He graduated from Manteca Union High School and was immediately drafted into the
army. He served for the duration of the World War II in Alaska guarding the train tunnels from
destruction. Later he was transferred to Hawaii, where he was put in charge of the motor pool.
After being discharged, he returned home where he opened Patterson’s Garage and started dating
Virginia Mary Williams who he had met in high school. They were married Aug. 31, 1947.
They had two daughters, Kathleen (Kathy) and Lynda.
About 1955, Jim went to work for Karlson Brothers Trucking as the maintenance
manager, then later was moved to Fresno by the Grange Company to oversee the construction
and become manager of their feed mill, which made and delivered feed for about a million
turkeys on numerous ranches.
He was well appreciated for his mechanical as well as managerial skills and was well
compensated in return. The last 17 years of his career he worked for Foster Farms, which bought
out the Grange Company. He retired at 62. They lived in Fresno for 40 years before moving to
North Logan, Utah.
In 1962, after eight years of investigating and attending the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day Saints, Jim and his family were baptized and later sealed in the Oakland Temple. He
served in the Young Men’s presidency. Later, he and Virginia served a mission as directors of
the Fresno Bishop’s Storehouse for three years. They also served in the southeast Asian Hmong
branch of the Church as leadership mentors.
Jim was a wonderfully wise counselor when asked about difficult situations. He always
encouraged his wife and daughters to take on anything they chose from remodeling projects to
replacing garbage disposals, putting in sprinkler systems, or seeking higher education.
Jim was also a sportsman. He hunted deer and elk and liked to fish. He loved country
music and Rush Limbaugh and made delicious barbecued tri-tip and homemade pies. He and
Virginia loved to travel to the Central Coast of California with their motor home. They also
traveled to Alaska, Hawaii, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
In 2012, they accepted an invitation from their daughter Kathy to move to North Logan to
live with her. It was a big change for two native Californians to move to Utah, but one they never
regretted. They learned to love watching the snow fall, seeing the mountains in spring, and the
colors change in the canyon during the fall. Virginia passed away in 2016.
Now he has been reunited with his wife of 69 years, his parents, brothers, grandparents,
and many friends who have preceded him. He leaves behind his daughters Kathleen (Kathy)
White of North Logan, and Lynda Minazzoli (John) of Fresno, grandchildren Jamie Soligian (Paul J) of Fresno; Christian White (Barbara) of Clovis, New Mexico, Colin (Jeneva) White of Yorktown, Va., and great-grandchildren Kira, Benjamin, Elizabeth, Zachary, Eliana,
Matthew, and Andrew.