By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Monday, October 2, 2017 it was announced that state Representative Jim Patterson R-Meridianville has unexpectedly passed away from a sudden heart attack. He was 67.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on Tuesday offered her deepest condolences to the Patterson family and the entire Madison County area.
“Representative Patterson had a huge heart and exemplified the role of a citizen-legislator. Jim was a voice for the children and the needy in our society, and that voice will be sorely missed,” Governor Ivey said. “My thoughts and prayers remain especially with his wife Susan and their three children during this very difficult time. They have lost a loving husband and father, and Alabama has lost a tremendous public servant. As Governor, I will do all I can to help the Madison County area and our state move forward.”
Alabama Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon said:
“A difficult day for all of America became even more difficult for those of us in the Alabama House who learned that our colleague, Rep. Jim Patterson of Meridianville, has passed away from a heart attack. Jim worked tirelessly for his district and celebrated his greatest legislative achievement last year when his bill requiring insurance companies to cover life-changing autism therapy was passed and signed into law. All of us in the Alabama State House will miss “Big Jim” and his equally big personality. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his wife, Susan, and the rest of the Patterson family.”
House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R – Rainsville) said:
“The Alabama House Republican Caucus and each of its members will feel the loss of our colleague, Rep. Jim Patterson, for some time to come. Rep. Patterson was defined by the hard work he devoted to serving his constituents, the thoughtfulness with which he approached each issue, and the way he tackled problems, bills, and initiatives about which he felt strongly. These traits were demonstrated very publicly during his successful effort to pass important autism therapy legislation that will positively affect the lives of children and families across Alabama for years to come.”
Rep. Ledbetter added, “Rep. Patterson’s big laugh, big voice, and big personality often made the more difficult days in the Alabama State House easier to handle. On behalf of the Republican Caucus, we send out thoughts and prayers for comfort to his wife, Susan, and the family that made him so very proud.”
“Very sad to hear of my friend Rep. Jim Patterson’s passing today. Alabama has lost an outstanding legislator and an even greater man. He was lovingly called “Big Jim” by many who had the pleasure of knowing him; he was always bringing a smile to the faces of those around him and had a tremendous passion for representing his district. I am praying for Susan and their 3 children. Jim will be dearly missed,” Public Service Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh (R).
Former Public Service Commissioner Terry Dunn (R) said on social media, “He will be remembered for the Autism Bill, while under strong opposition a great accomplishment, a good man.”
Rep. Patterson introduced the bill requiring that insurers provide coverage for autism treatments for children, even though some very powerful lobbyists in Montgomery, including BCA, opposed the legislation.
“Heaven most certainly gained an angel today. Jim Patterson was a dear friend, a disciple of Christ who loved his family and worked with all of his heart as if working for the Lord, not for human masters. He will be missed.” – Nicole Jones, Economic Developer and friend of Jim Patterson and Family.
“Stunned and saddened to hear about the sudden and unexpected death of my friend and colleague Representative Jim Patterson this afternoon. Jim was a strong voice in Montgomery for those people and causes he believed in. Today we lost one of the really good guys – a man who remained true to his convictions throughout his legislative service. My prayers are with the family of Jim Patterson,” State Representative Jack Williams (R-Vestavia).
State Representative Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City) said, “I am very saddened to learn of the sudden passing of one of the kindest legislators in Alabama. Jim Patterson had a larger than life personality and never met a stranger. I am certain he is in Glory as his Faith was evident in all he did and said. Jim’s office was right across the hall from me when I arrived in Montgomery and was an instant friend and mentor. Heaven gained a great man today. Praying for his family as he will be greatly missed.”
“I can’t adequately put into words what my dad meant to us, his community, and state. He loved fiercely and was super passionate about everything he believed in…. My dad was a child of God and he’s talking and praising Him right now. Please continue to pray for us, my Mom especially. They’ve been loving each other for 52 years.” – Krista Hunter, daughter of Jim Patterson.