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Robert Eugene Patterson

Posted By DeBord Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory On June 24, 2020 @ 3:13 pm In Obituaries | 15 Comments

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Robert Eugene Patterson, 88, of Willow Street, PA died peacefully in hospice care on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 of cancer. He was the son of the late Blanchard S. and Lydia L. Patterson. His wife of 61 years, Dorothy J. Patterson, had died of cancer in 2012. Robert is survived by his brother James Patterson of Lititz, PA and two children: Craig R., husband of Cynthia Schnee Patterson of Ellicott City, MD; Tracy A., wife of Kerry Cunningham of Mechanicsburg, PA; and grandson Brian R. Cunningham of Mechanicsburg, PA. He is also survived by his beloved companion Carolyn Blish of Willow Street, PA.

A native of Lancaster, Robert graduated from McCaskey High School in 1950, Franklin and Marshall College in 1959, and did graduate work at Temple University and the Harvard University School of Public Health. He was a Certified Public Accountant, and his career as a financial executive spanned nearly 60 years, with experience in for-profit, not-for-profit, education, and government sectors.

Robert began his career with Armstrong World Industries in 1950. He served in the US Army Finance Corps from 1952 to 1954. He moved to Hamilton Watch Company in 1969, where he served as Controller and Treasurer. He later served as Vice President of Finance and Administration at K-D Manufacturing Company. He moved to Pennsylvania Blue Shield in 1976, and became Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer until his retirement in 1997. He then served as Chief Investment Officer for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania until 2002, and Finance Director of the Pennsylvania Lottery until 2004.

During his career at Pennsylvania Blue Shield, he served as Chairman of the Board for HealthGuard of Lancaster and for Keystone Health Plan Central. An advocate of health maintenance organizations, he helped pioneer their development throughout Pennsylvania. He served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Pennsylvania Cost Containment Council, and served as its Treasurer for ten years. Robert was appointed by Governor Ridge in 1995 to the IMPACCT Commission, which studied ways to improve state government financial operations. He also served as Chapter President and national vice-president of several professional finance organizations, including the Institute of Management Accountants (Emeritus Lifetime Member) and Financial Executives International.

Robert was a lifelong advocate of education in all its forms. As an Adjunct Professor, he taught accounting at Franklin and Marshall College’s Evening Division from 1961-1981, helping many aspiring accountants to understand the importance of the language of business. Post-retirement, he served on the Millersville University Foundation Board (Life Director), and was President from 2006 to 2009. In 2016, he created two new student scholarships at Millersville University and one at the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences in his and his late wife Dorothy’s names.

Robert’s professional and civic affiliations reflected his deep commitment to giving back to the Lancaster community. He generously contributed his leadership experience to LancasterHistory (Life Member), the James Buchanan Foundation Board, the Lampeter-Strasburg YMCA Building Campaign Steering Committee, the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry Board, the Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic Board, the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra Board, the Center for Parish Development Board, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. In recent years, he was a member of the Lancaster General Health Foundation Board and chairman of the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute Development Committee. He served on the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences Campaign Executive Committee, Hospice & Community Care financial committees, and co-chaired the Willow Valley Communities Campaign Planning committee. In 2005, he was elected to the West Lampeter Township Board of Supervisors, and served with distinction for 14 years in key financial and community fundraising roles.

He was a member of the Hamilton Club, Bent Creek Country Club, and Meadia Heights Golf Club. He was an avid bridge player, enjoyed riding his motorcycle, played tennis, and flew radio-controlled model planes as a member of the Lancaster County Radio Control Club. After moving to Willow Valley Communities, he became a member of the Lancaster Pirates, the Camera Club, and the Computer Club.

At the time of his death, Robert was a devoted member of the Grace Community Church of Willow Street. Contributions in his memory may be made to his church, the Lancaster General Health Foundation, 609 Cherry Street, Lancaster, PA 17604, and Hospice and Community Care, 685 Good Drive, Lancaster, PA 17604. A private interment ceremony will take place at the convenience of the family. A memorial service to celebrate Robert’s life will be scheduled and announced at a future time.

Condolences for the family of “Robert Eugene Patterson”

Condolence from Sharon Mendenhall on June 28th, 2020 10:10 am

Bob interviewed me when I applied at KD for a job. I was immediately aware that he was a man with great integrity. Always friendly and interesting to talk to.

Condolence from Tracy Patterson Cunningham on July 12th, 2020 3:51 pm

Thank you, Sharon, for sharing your memory of our father. He enjoyed his time at K-D Manufacturing and the friendships made during his tenure in the 1970s. We remember the excitement of visiting his business office when we were children.
Kind regards,
Tracy Patterson Cunningham for The Patterson Family

Condolence from Natalie Morrow on June 28th, 2020 11:00 am

I had the privilege of working with Mr. Patterson during my early career at Pa Blue Shield. He was a man of dignity, highly respected and a consummate professional. May he Rest In Peace.

Condolence from Tracy Patterson Cunningham on July 12th, 2020 3:54 pm

Thank you, Natalie for your kind remembrance and condolences.
Tracy Patterson Cunningham for The Patterson Family

Condolence from George Grode on June 28th, 2020 9:53 pm

Having worked closely with Bob at PABlue Shield I knew him to be a caring, skillful, conscientious business leader of the highest integrity. A true professional, he and I often constituted the Saturday morning crew as he would set aside his impeccable business attire and ride his motorcycle from Lancaster to our Center Street office to complete the week’s unfinished work, line up all of his “to do’s” on his standing desk and be prepared for the week ahead. His extended service as a citizen leader on the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council and several Lancaster County academic, health care and charitable organizations give further proof of a life well-focused and well-lived. My deepest sympathy goes out to all of his surviving loved ones.

Condolence from Tracy Patterson Cunningham on July 12th, 2020 4:33 pm

Thank you for sharing your memories of working with our father at PA Blue Shield and the Center Street office. The friendships he made there brought our father great personal satisfaction and broad smiles even through his final days.

After my father’s retirement, I eagerly “borrowed” his beautiful, custom-made standing desk, knowing it was something special. I stood at that same desk myself for many years in my own business office for inspiration, always hoping just a little of Dad’s acumen and tireless work ethic would rub off on me. His standing desk remains with me today as a wonderful symbol of our father’s enterprising and well-lived life.

Kind regards,
Tracy Patterson Cunningham for The Patterson Family

Condolence from Tony Notarfrancesco on June 29th, 2020 12:00 pm

I first met Bob shortly after Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC) establishes out Harrisburg office in 1984. I was a very young and new tax partner assigned you the Blue Shield engagement and Bob was the consummate professional. When the 1986 Tax Act initiated income taxes on the Blues nationwide, we were very involved with Bob in figuring its complexities along with Bill Humenuk of Dechert. I really treasured our relationship over the years including corporate restructurings, acquisitions and operations. Bob was such a calm, competent and caring individual for which nothing seemed to rattle him. Along with George Grode, Ron Beam, Bill Grant, Sam , Leroy Mann…they were an outstanding group of professionals. I often have referred to Bob as a gentleman’s gentleman. A life well lived.

Condolence from Bill Grant on June 29th, 2020 12:26 pm

My sympathy to all of Bob’s family. Can only confirm what you already know; a wonderful gentleman, a fine executive, a guy of the highest integrity, and a fellow who “made a difference”. Working with him at Blue Shield was always predictable…a well-thought-out perspective that made sense, something that would work and his staff was proud to put in motion, and views and actions that benefited employees.

Even with his climbs through executive ranks, I think Bob was always simply an accountant at heart…the Lord now has a good one by His side. Rest in peace Mr Patterson!

Condolence from Gil Lyons on June 29th, 2020 7:37 pm

My condolences to Craig and Cyndi, Tracy and Kerry and to your families. I have many fond memories of your father from the time when we were all growing up through the time when your father became a Pirate. Arrgh!

Hold on to and cherish the memories. He will be missed. Rest In Peace Bob.

Condolence from Denise Frantz on June 30th, 2020 3:02 pm

My sincere condolences to the family and friends. I was blessed with the honor and privilege to serve as Mr. Patterson’s executive secretary for nearly a decade at Pa. Blue Shield. Mr. Patterson was always a true gentleman and man of integrity. He clearly exhibited all of humanity’s best qualities. Without a doubt, he will be missed. However, it is evident that his stellar legacy will continue to live on through all of his many accomplishments, and the positive impact he left on so many lives. Rest In Peace, Mr. Patterson.

Condolence from Bob Mitchell on July 3rd, 2020 3:04 pm

I worked with Bob for many years at Pennsylvania BlueShield/Highmark, and I admired him a great deal. He was a gentleman through and through! After retirement, we shared many lunches together over the years, often including others from the Blue Shield gang. I will miss him very much. My sincerest condolences to all his family and friends. Rest in peace, Bob.

Condolence from Jen Groff on July 8th, 2020 3:34 pm

Bob gave so much of himself to help others and I feel very blessed to have met him through his volunteer work at LG Health. He made our community a better place and he leaves behind a strong and lasting legacy of volunteerism and philanthropy. Jen Groff, LG Health Foundation

Condolence from Matthew C. Bruns on July 10th, 2020 2:45 pm

Dear Craig, Tracy, and families,
I am very sorry to read about your father’s passing. He was an educated and hardworking man. You should be very proud of his generous donation of his time and knowledge to many worthy organizations. My thoughts are with you. Matthew Bruns

Condolence from Peggy Dave Shafer on July 10th, 2020 5:44 pm

Dear Tracy & Craig, We were sorry to hear abut your Father. We lived many years ago in the same neighborhood with your parents and have fond memories of that time. Your Mother came to our house to babysit our children when I went in to the hospital to have a baby. We attended Dottie’s 80th birthday party and met you there . The party was such a nice thing to do. Throughout the years we’d get caught up on quick visits and always heard good things about the two of you. My husband, your Father and another man from Landisville took their CPA exam at the same time. Your Mother was in our card club where we didn’t always play many cards but sure did have fun. It’s always sad to lose parents, but we’re sure that you have many fond memories of both parents. Sincerely, Peggy & Dave Shafer

Condolence from Jody Hall on July 14th, 2020 5:25 pm

It was a pleasure and privilege to meet and care for Mr Patterson in the short time that I did. My prayers and condolences go out to his family and loved ones. God bless, Jody Hall (caregiver)

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