On August 28, 2020, the sweet spirit of Dr. Josephine Bell Patton, 71, went to join the savior in a home not built with hands, but whose maker and builder is God. Josephine was born to the late Joe and Estelle Stone Bell on August 8, 1949 in Ridgeway, SC. She was the eighth child born to their union. At an early age she was baptized at Antioch Baptist Church where she served faithfully.
Josephine attended and graduated from the public school system of Fairfield County 1968, after which she attended and graduated from Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina. While at Voorhees, she was an honor student and a charter member of the Eta Phi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. After graduating, she attended Syracuse University and received her master’s degree in Public Administration. Josephine later obtained her law degree from the University of South Carolina, all while raising a teenager and a toddler.
Josephine was a dedicated mother first and foremost, and was an inspiring and guiding force in both of her son’s lives. She was also an avid gardener who loved caring for her Syracuse roses and tinkering in the garden to pass the time until she no longer could. She also grew into one of the best cooks in the family; always making sure her “baby boys” had lasagna when they returned home from college or time away. While Josephine was quiet and reserved, she was such an influential force in the lives of her family and close friends. Josephine had an impressive career and served in various capacities, including at the Columbia Urban League, the South Carolina Judicial Department, the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control, the Department of Energy (Savannah River Site & Washington, D.C.), General Services Administration and ran her own solo law practice in Blythewood, SC. She was also instrumental in setting up a uniform Probate Court System during her tenure with the Judicial Department. One of her most rewarding roles was proudly and selflessly caring for her mother Estelle as she battled Alzheimer’s.
She is survived by her loving husband of 28 years, Dr. Joseph D. Patton III, sons Angus James (Nicole) Bell, Esq. of Holmdel, NJ and Brian Jefferson (Cheryl) Selph of Washington, D.C., siblings Lottie B. Scott, Norwich, CT, and Alberta B. Williams, Lorton, VA, her six beautiful grandchildren Noah, Jonah, Grayson, McKinley, Kendall and Jackson as well as great grandchildren, stepson, Jerrod S. (Kimberly) Patton of Atlanta GA, and a host of aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins and sister-in-laws.
Josephine had love constantly surrounding her and was closely cared for in her later years, not only by her husband, but also by her sister-in-law Rosalind Patton Brown, and niece and nephew Rhonda and Roosevelt Young, and the caring staff of SC Rehabilitation and Wellness Center.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Joe and Estelle Stone Bell, and her siblings, Freddie, Solomon, David, Freddie, Macarthur and Lillian, all of whom she loved dearly.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her honor to the Alzheimer’s Association to support the critical research needed to end this disease.
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