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Orlene Muenzler Patterson

Obituary for Orlene Muenzler Patterson

September 11, 1920 - November 23, 2017
Austin, Texas | Age 97


Orlene Evelyn Muenzler Patterson, 97, loving mother, sister, grandmother, great grandmother and aunt, our "sunshine," passed away peacefully on Thanksgiving Day to join her late husband Pat for his birthday.

She was born September 11, 1920 in the German community of Cost, Texas, where the first shot of the Texas Revolution was fired, to parents Anton Heinrich Muenzler of Industry, Austin County and Frieda Helen Bauer of Lexington, Lee County. Orlene was raised the middle child of ten brothers and sisters. The family grew cotton and owned and operated a cotton gin in Cost until the 1920's when they settled in the ranching and farming community of Ray Point in Live Oak County to grow cotton and raise cattle.

After first attending a one-room school at Ray Point, Orlene graduated from Three Rivers High School. She came to Austin with her sister to attend Seton School of Nursing, where she graduated in 1942. Her Seton roommate and close friend introduced her to J. T. (Pat) Patterson, a young midshipman who was the close friend of the roommate's fiance, future Travis County District Judge Mace B. Thurman. On December 2, 1942, Orlene was married to "her Pat." Their marriage lasted until his death 60 years later. After Thurman became a judge, he liked to joke that he had given his friend Pat a life sentence.

Together Orlene and Pat stayed in Austin, where Pat's grandparents were born and where he had been raised one block north of the Capitol on Congress Avenue. They lovingly raised their children first in a house on Bonnie Road, and later on Highland Terrace West. The couple was active in boy and girl scouting as troop leaders and board members of the Capitol Area Council of the Boy Scouts and Lone Star Council of the Girl Scouts. They also were active in PTA and school activities, bringing tennis courts to Highland Park School, and truly devoted to the education of their children. Orlene loved her beautiful gardens and greenhouse and the flocks of birds that counted on her generosity with her feeders. Her cooking for large family gatherings was much storied.

Orlene and Pat were faithful members of the United University Methodist Church for 70 years where they were active members of the Hickman Men's class and the Fellowship Forum Women's Class. She served for many years as a Sunday school and Bible school teacher. For 30 years, Orlene followed her calling as an RN at Brackenridge Hospital. On August 1, 1966, Orlene was on duty in the emergency room, responding in the aftermath of the UT tower shooting. She loved her calling as a nurse and other members of her Seton nursing class of 1942, with whom she maintained contact for 60 years.

Orlene's children and grandchildren will remember her with great affection for her high energy, her strong will, laughter and happiness, her love and many acts of kindness. She also will be remembered for her encouragement and support in their education, including gifts of encyclopedias. Orlene also had a lifelong love of reading and learning. On her 80th birthday, having already taken a computer course, she received a computer as a gift and corresponded with friends and relatives for many years. Her children will remember her as well for the many life lessons she continued to teach them even as she navigated her last decade–with joy, humor, love, and, most of all, with her faith.

Orlene was preceded in death by her husband John T. Patterson Jr., son Thomas, daughter Gayle, and all of her brothers and sisters.

Survivors include her children, Jan of Austin, and Bryan and his wife Jennifer of Denver, Colorado; beloved grandchildren Leigh (Patrick), Kody, Levi, Ashley (Callan), Lauren, and Joseph; great grandchild Solomon (Sully) and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The family will receive visitors at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 3125 N. Lamar, Austin, Texas 78705 on November 30 from 3 to 6 p.m. At her request, graveside services will be Friday, December 1 at 11 a.m. at Austin Memorial Park on Hancock Drive.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Endowment Fund at University United Methodist Church, to a nursing school of the donor's choice, or to the Girl Scouts of Central Texas in Austin.

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Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
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