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Patman remembered for humble nature and quiet philanthropy

Patman remembered for humble nature and quiet philanthropy

December 13th, 2018 by Lori Dunn in Texarkana News
Connor Wright Patman

Connor Wright Patman is being remembered as a man known for his humble nature and quiet philanthropy.

Patman, the son of late U.S. Rep. Wright Patman, died Monday at age 98.

He was an attorney and real estate developer and veteran of the U.S. Army having served in World War II.

"He was just a great man," said Patman's son-in-law, Alan Schimming.

"The thing about Mr. Patman was his word was as good as gold. He was a man of honor and a straight shooter. What he said was what he meant. He was also a man of action. People would talk about doing things and he would do them," Schimming

Schimming worked with Patman at Patman Investments.

"We got into commercial real estate and developed several centers and office properties," Schimming said.

Connor Patman was born March 24, 1920, in Linden, Texas. He was the first child of Merle and Wright Patman. His father became the region's most powerful and long-serving U.S. representative from the late 1920s to 1976.

Connor Patman lived in Linden in his early childhood before his family moved to Texarkana.

Patman served 24 years on the Texarkana College Board of Trustees and Foundation Board and was a longtime supporter of the college and its programs.

"He was a huge supporter of the college. In 2011 and 2012 when the college was in dire financial straits, he used his funds and the power of his name to endorse the changes we wanted to make," said Texarkana College President James Henry Russell.

In 2013, TC officials unveiled a plaque honoring the Patman Family in the newly named Patman Room on campus. The Patman Room, formerly the VIP room, is located in the Truman Arnold Student Center.

The plaque mentioned the "quiet philanthropic generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Connor Patman" and also how the Patman name has always been associating with serving people.

"We were honored to put his name on the room, but we had to twist his arm for him to allow us to do it. He was a humble man and he would rather have been behind the scenes," Russell said.

Russell said Patman's "most precious asset was his name."

"He put it on the line and I'm quite certain that brought in thousands of votes to help save the college," Russell said.

Russell said Patman "knew how important an educated community was" and that he had a passion for humanities and performing arts.

Schimming said Patman continued to attend as many plays and other shows as long as he was able.

"Probably up to the last six or seven months, he was going to shows at the Perot," Schimming said.

Patman stayed active and was very generous with TC and the entire community.

"He loved Texarkana College. He was just a very generous person to many charities and active on a lot of different boards. He tried to keep his mind as active as possible," Schimming said.

Patman also won the C.E. Palmer Award in 1999.

He said one of the most impressive things about Patman was that he was always there for his friends who developed health issues as they aged.

He was also a doting grandfather to his grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church, Arkansas.

Memorials can be made to the Texarkana College Foundation, 2500 N. Robison Road, Texarkana TX 75599 or to First United Methodist Church, 400 E.Sixth St., Texarkana, AR 71854.

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