May 29, 1946 – March 27, 2018
A memorial service for Greybull resident Mike Patton will be held Friday, April 6, 2018, at 11 a.m. at Grace Fellowship Church, 401 S. Fifth St. in Greybull. Willard Michael Patton passed away March 27, 2018, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born in Greybull on May 29, 1946, to Vella Perkins and Willard Patton.
Mike grew up in Greybull and attended school there until July 1963 when he joined the United States Navy. He was stationed on the USS Hancock and served in the Vietnam War. In October 1963, Mike met Marjie Joy Triebsch in Castro Valley, Calif. They were married 52 years.
After serving in the Navy, Mike attended college in California and then began a 30-year career with IBM. At IBM he served in different departments serving as manager of development, accounting, financial and legal. At one time he managed a department of 100 women which he referred to as “an enormous amount of women.” He said if he said hello to one he had to say hello to each one every day making sure he didn’t hurt any feelings. After Mike left IBM he bought San Martin Welding Shop and put his many talents to use. There was almost nothing Mike could not build or fix. He loved remodeling cars and working for himself. He opened up a small gun store in San Martin, Calif., and then in 2000 decided to move back to Greybull so he could pursue his interest in hunting, fishing and camping.
After returning to Greybull Mike continued to work, first at South Big Horn County Hospital, then as management for several railroad transport companies before he opened Mike’s Gun Shop. Mike loved his gun shop and his patrons. Anyone patronizing his store not only left with his knowledge of guns and ammunition but respect for his staunch belief in the U.S. Constitution and the Second Amendment in particular. Anyone that took the time to visit with Mike knew where he stood on the issues that were important to him.
Mike’s hobbies in addition to his outdoor activities included restoring cars, wood working, fixing anything broken, repairing guns and visiting, He had his pilot’s license, was a wonderful cook and loved watching movies. He thought and believed that in one way or another he was related to almost everyone in Greybull. He never met a stranger.
Over the years Mike served as a Commander with the VFW and was an active member of the Eagles and Elks. He was also a member of the group his wife affectionately referred to as the “Table of Knowledge” that gathered daily at local eateries in Greybull to discuss and solve the world’s problems and issues.
Mike is survived by his wife Marjie, son Michael Steven Patton of Fresno, Calif., daughter Melissa Denise Patton and granddaughter Alicia Cassandra Hawkins and step brother Leroy Klitzke and his wife Christine of Greybull. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers Robert and Ralph and two sisters Pat and Charlotte.
Pastor James Scott will officiate the service on Friday. Full military honors will take place and a reception will be held at noon at the Greybull Elks hall following the service.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Atwood Family Funeral Directors.