Rev. Luther A. Patton, 95, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 26, 2013, at the Wesley Health Care Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Rev. Patton had served on the original Board of Directors for Wesley, and it was a fitting tribute that he received his final, loving care from this facility.
Born May 23, 1917, in Chateaugay, N.Y., he was the son of the late Rev. Alfred V. Patton and Myrtle (Henderson) Patton.
Rev. Patton received degrees from both Taylor University and Drew Theological Seminary and began his ministry in Chatham, N.Y.
He was a well-known minister of over 40 years in the United Methodist Church, and served parishes in Chatham, N.Y., Malden Bridge, N.Y., Pittsfield, Mass., Watervliet, Latham, Gloversville, and Slingerlands.
He also served as district superintendent of the Glens Falls District. In addition, Rev. Patton served his country as a Chaplain in the U.S. Navy during World War II on the USS Meriweather in the Pacific.
While serving as Pastor of the United Methodist Church in Pittsfield, Mass., he met a beautiful young member of the church who would later become his wife.
On April 2, 1944, he married Ruth (Haverly) Patton, and they remained husband and wife for 68 years until Ruth's death in 2012.
She was not only his loving wife, but his helpmate in his ministry, traveling with him throughout northern New York during his time as district superintendent, and participating in all aspects of his church ministry.
Rev. Patton will always be remembered for his gift of bringing the Scripture alive in his sermons with references to contemporary life in an intelligent and often humorous manner. His warm, kind, and caring personality made his parishioners feel close to him as not only their pastor, but also their friend. His winning smile, and optimistic, patient personality was infectious to those around him, and inspired many to spread kindness and love to others.
Rev. Patton was a constant source of love, support, and strength for his family, and was generous in his gift of spending time with them. He and Ruth loved to travel and were fortunate to have visited Israel, the Holy Land, Switzerland, England, Alaska, and Hawaii. They took their grandchildren on many trips during school vacations, and would spend winters in Myrtle Beach and Florida. Many wonderful family memories were made at their summer cabin on Sherman Lake in the Adirondacks, which has been in the family since 1933.
In addition to his parents and his loving wife, Rev. Patton was predeceased by his brother, Samuel and his wife, Frances; and his beloved son-in-law, Roy Gilman.
Left to cherish his memory are his two children, Donna Gilman and her companion, Michael Burke of South Glens Falls, and John Patton and his wife, Weihui Mao of Shanghai, China; his sister-in-law, Marion Taylor of Pittsfield, Mass.; five grandchildren, Michael Renfroe and his wife, Mandy of Glen Allen, Va., David Renfroe and his wife, Rebecca of Ottawa, Canada, Sara McDermott and her husband, Dan of Phoenix, Ariz., Katherine Rymph and her husband, Chad of Hyde Park, N.Y., and Adam Gilman of Hudson Falls; as well as seven great-grandchildren, Noah, Sawyer, Brady, Sydney, Kona, Alyssa, and Erika.
Arrangements are under the care of M.B. Kilmer Funeral Home, 136 Main Street, South Glens Falls, NY 12803. At Rev. Patton's request, there will be no calling hours. To leave online condolences and to view Rev. Patton's Book of Memories, please visit www.kilmerfuneralhome.com.
A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, June 9, 2013, at 2 p.m. at the Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church, 175 Fifth Ave., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. A reception will follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Rev. Patton's name to The Wesley Health Care Facility, 131 Lawrence Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.
The family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to the staff of Wesley, and in particular, the staff on 5 Springs who took such excellent care of both Rev. Patton and his wife Ruth in their final years.