Rudolph Gary Patterson, Oliver Springs

Long time educator, Rudolph Gary Patterson, passed away suddenly at his home in Oliver Springs on Friday, May 26, 2017. Mr. Patterson was born on September 2, 1950. He graduated from Clinton Senior High School in 1968 prior to completing a history degree at Tennessee Technological University in 1973. While at Tennessee Tech, Mr. Patterson was very active in the local chapter of the Sigma Phi Epsilon social fraternity and remained close to many of his fraternity brothers until his death.

Mr. Patterson was a highly favored teacher at Oliver Springs High School for over 40 years. He was well loved by thousands of students whose lives he touched and minds he inspired. He was never as happy as he was in his classroom with his “kids”.

Besides his educational activities, Mr. Patterson was also well known as a guitarist for many local bands, and spent much of his time in recent years as an author and expert on the history of Rock and Roll, appearing frequently on television, documentaries, podcasts, radio shows, and conferences with many famous musicians. Mr. Patterson was always a fan favorite both here in the United States and abroad. He published three non-fiction books dealing with Rock and Roll legends, myths, and lore. His best-known work was “The Walrus Was Paul“,  which was about the great Beatle death hoax of the 1960s.

Preceded in death by his father, Rudolph G. Patterson; his mother Ruby Patterson Hunt; his stepfather Gentry D. Hunt; and his son Jonathan Gary Patterson, all of Oliver Springs, he is survived by daughter Jennie Shea Raper and husband Kevin Raper; his granddaughter Claudia Sydney Watts, and his step granddaughter Allison Grace Raper, all of Maryville. He has one brother, Michael Patterson and his wife Sandy, and two nephews Brandon and Jaron Patterson of Oliver Springs; one step nephew Guston Shelby of Knoxville. He is also survived by one aunt, Ann Weeks of Oak Ridge; and a special cousin, Nancy Taylor also of Oak Ridge. Included in his survivors are several other beloved cousins and a great nephew.

Premier Sharp Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for Mr. Patterson. Rev. Bill Horner of the First Baptist Church of Oliver Springs, where Mr. Patterson was a long-time member, will be officiating the funeral services. The visitation will be between the hours of 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM at Premier Sharp Funeral Home with the funeral service following at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, May 30, 2017. The burial will take place at Oliver Springs Cemetery following the service.

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