James Donald Patrick obituary photo
 
In Memory of

James Donald Patrick

May 13, 1934 - January 6, 2018

Obituary


James Donald Patrick, son of Forrest Lonzo Patrick and Mary Ruth McDonald Patrick of Cullman, Alabama, died peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Saturday, January 6 (the Day of the Epiphany), in Birmingham, Alabama at the age of 83.

Donald is survived by Margaret Hines Patrick, his loving wife of 59 years; daughter Adelia Patrick Thompson and her husband J. Lynn Thompson; son Bentley Hines Patrick and his wife Melissa Self Patrick and their daughters Mary Rose Patrick and Sarah Elizabeth Patrick; his brother Billy Wayne Patrick, and wife Sarah Goodlett Patrick...

James Donald Patrick, son of Forrest Lonzo Patrick and Mary Ruth McDonald Patrick of Cullman, Alabama, died peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Saturday, January 6 (the Day of the Epiphany), in Birmingham, Alabama at the age of 83.

Donald is survived by Margaret Hines Patrick, his loving wife of 59 years; daughter Adelia Patrick Thompson and her husband J. Lynn Thompson; son Bentley Hines Patrick and his wife Melissa Self Patrick and their daughters Mary Rose Patrick and Sarah Elizabeth Patrick; his brother Billy Wayne Patrick, and wife Sarah Goodlett Patrick and their children Bryan Patrick and Amanda Patrick Booher.

Donald was born on May 13, 1934 in White City, Alabama and graduated from Cullman High School in 1952. He received his Associates Degree from St. Bernard's College before receiving his Bachelors Degree from Birmingham-Southern. Don and Margaret married in 1958 and moved to Decatur, Alabama where he began his career as a vocational rehabilitation counselor. He went on to earn his Masters in Counseling at the University of Alabama and returned to Birmingham where their first child, daughter Adelia, was born. Driven by his desire to do more to help others who had been dealt a tough hand in life, Don accepted an invitation to return to Tuscaloosa and continue his studies, becoming the first person in the state of Alabama to receive a Ph.D. in Vocational Rehabilitation. Soon after, their son Bentley was born and the couple returned to Birmingham where Don accepted a position as the first Vocational Rehab Counselor at the newly created Spain Rehabilitation Center at UAB. From there, he went on to help found Lakeshore Rehab Center and Foundation, converting the old TB hospital into a highly successful rehab facility. Don's natural ability to see the potential in everyone, rather than focusing on their physical limitations, set him apart and gave him an uncanny ability to help others regain their dignity and rediscover their value and purpose in life.

Don loved his family, his work and his community. He and Margaret loved to cook and their home was often filled with their friends and their children's friends - all were welcomed, loved and appreciated as the Patricks created a loving, welcoming home that knew no bounds. "Granddad" adored his granddaughters, and he never missed a recital or special event - and their friends all knew him as "Granddad" too. Don also loved his church family at Canterbury United Methodist Church where he and Margaret have been active members for 45 years.

A memorial service and musical celebration is scheduled for Thursday, January 11th at Canterbury United Methodist Church at 4 PM with a visitation beginning at 3 PM in the church parlor. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Chancel Choir Fund at Canterbury United Methodist Church, or The Children's Hospital of Alabama.