On December 19, Dr. Joseph D. Patton III joined his beloved wife of 28 years, Josephine Bell Patton, in eternal rest. Joseph (“Joey”) was born on December 5, 1942 in Spartanburg, SC and was 79 years old. Joey was the eldest child of Joseph D. Patton and Fordham Margaret Foster Patton.
Joey served in the US Army and was a graduate of St. Emma Military Academy and Voorhees College. He went on to receive an honorary doctorate from Lander University in Greenwood, SC and completed several professional courses at well-known institutions including, the University of Georgia, University of Miami, Washington College and the College of Charleston. Joey was a proud member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated, and he upheld the name’s meaning to the fullest extent--"Friendship is Essential to the Soul."
A respected member of the community and South Carolina at large, Joey went on to build a successful career as a human resources executive, spending 15 years in his final post as CEO of GLEAMNS, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting the war on poverty by delivering services and opportunities to those most in need. Joey’s leadership and dedication brought him to his most rewarding project—overseeing the relocation and restoration of the Dr. Benjamin Mays house and school, and the addition and curation of the on-site museum, now collectively known as the Benjamin E. Mays Historical Site located on the GLEAMNS campus. Mays was most known for being a mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr. and longtime President of Morehouse College. Joey was also integral in launching the Magic Johnson Community Empowerment Center in conjunction with the Magic Johnson Foundation. Joey was a member of several organizations, including serving as a member of the South Carolina State Workforce Investment Board.
Joey went on to receive many accolades during his storied career. In 2007, he was inducted into South Carolina’s Black Hall of Fame. In 2014, he received his highest honor—the Order of the Palmetto—which is South Carolina’s highest civilian honor which recognizes those who have exemplified an extraordinary lifetime of service and achievements to the state of South Carolina. Other organizations have recognized Joey for his outstanding achievements at the national, state and local levels.
For those that knew Joey best, he could be described as commanding, brilliant, and most notably, witty beyond measure. Joey could fill a room with his presence alone, and his deft guidance and mentorship to those around him created many pathways to opportunity for those he touched.
Joey is survived by his children, Jerrod S. Patton (Kristy) of Atlanta, Georgia, Angus James Bell (Nicole) of Holmdel, NJ, Brian J. Selph (Cheryl) of Washington, D.C., Selece J. Beasley (Steven) of Atlanta, Georgia, and Thomas Jones (Lauri) of Woodstock, Maryland, and beautiful grandchildren Noah, Jonah, Grayson, Kendall, McKinley, Jackson, Steven, Sierra, Flancie, Trae, Emy and Kaedin. He also leaves behind his loving sister Rosalind Patton Brown, a devoted niece and nephew, Rhonda and Roosevelt Young, Jr., and nephew, Emerson Bradley Brown (Jennifer), all of Spartanburg, SC, and cousins Joan Dowdy Jones, Kittie C. Tullis and Ernestine C. Anderson and numerous extended family members.
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