Bob E. Patterson

Bob E. Patterson, B.A. ‘52, M.A. ’57, Ph.D., of Waco, peacefully left this earth for his heavenly home on the morning of July 17. Bob was born Aug. 29, 1931, the fourth son of Eva and Dewitt Patterson. He grew up in Kings Mountain, NC, where he graduated from high school in 1948. After two years at Gardner Webb University, he transferred to Baylor University as a junior and earned bachelor’s degrees in religion and English as well as a master’s degree in philosophy. He and his wife, Barbara, were married in Tallahassee, FL, in Dec. of 1953. They lived in Louisville, KY, while Bob completed his Ph.D. at the Southern Baptist Seminary. Following graduation, the couple moved to Eustis, FL, where Bob was pastor of the First Baptist Church. In August 1961, Bob became a faculty member of Baylor University’s religion department. He taught there for 50 years before retiring in 2011. While at Baylor, Bob authored and edited numerous books and articles. An 18-volume series on Maker of the Modern Theological Mind and the book, Who is Jesus Christ?, were widely used by both students and laymen. In 1995, he was appointed to the position of Distinguished Professor of Religion. Bob also was a popular Bible teacher outside the classroom and was a frequent interim pastor and conference speaker. He traveled to several former Soviet Union countries as a mission teacher, taught in the Baylor in London program and led several study tours to the Middle East. For over 40 years, he taught a Sunday school class at First Baptist Church, Waco. This was a class he loved, and he often commented that the members were among his most treasured friends. Bob had many interests outside the academic world. He researched his family genealogy and coordinated semi-annual family reunions. He loved baseball and coached girls’ little league for many years. He was a jogger, hunter, backpacker and an avid reader. He cared deeply for his family and enjoyed participating in their activities. His positive spirit, enthusiasm and love for others will be remembered and cherished. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Barbara and his three brothers Charles, Jack and Hal. Left to cherish his memories are his daughters Lindy Dehm and husband Brian, and Beth Patterson; grandchildren Ashley Kendrick and husband Camron, Austin Dehm and wife Emily; great grandchildren Brazos and Maggie Kendrick, and Travis Dehm.