William L. Patton, Jr., died Thursday, October 21, 2021, at home with his family. Bill was born January 11, 1937, in Brownsville, Tenn., to Floy King and William L. Patton. He graduated from Hayward County High School in 1955 and from Davidson College in 1959. While a student at Davidson, Bill was a member of and held office in ATO, and was recognized as an ROTC distinguished military student.
Upon graduation from Davidson, he worked for Proctor and Gamble. In early 1960, he moved to Little Rock where he met Kay Smith. After a year of courtship, they married in January, 1961 and moved to Fayetteville for Bill to attend the University of Arkansas School of Law. Soon after entering law school he met his life-long best friends, and hunting and fishing companions, Beryl Anthony and Mack Moore.
Upon graduating from law school in 1964, Bill was a clerk for Arkansas Supreme Court Judge Sam Robinson and then worked as Assistant Attorney General under Bruce Bennet. Thereafter, he clerked for Judge Pat Mehaffy on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appleals in St. Louis.
In December 1966, he joined the law firm Smith Williams Friday and Bowen, now Friday Eldredge and Clark. Bill’s practice was in municipal finance, equity financing, and the chartering and opposition to charter of banks, including Northwest National Bank of Fayetteville, Metropolitan National Bank, and the Bank of Little Rock.
Bill was interested in the arts and in the development of the Arkansas Arts Center (now the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts) for which he served as Treasurer and as President of the Board. Bill also served as a board member and President of the Board of the Country Club of Little Rock.
While Bill enthusiastically hunted and fished and golfed with his friends, the touchstone of his life was his family. He loved and appreciated and enjoyed their talents and their differences. He was proud that they, like he, are loyal to their friends and to each other, and that their values reflect his own.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Kay Smith Patton; his three daughters, Holly Beineman (Don), Ann Patton, and Katherine Patton; and granddaughters, Alexandra and Carson Beineman. In addition, he is survived by his sister, Elizabeth (Betty) Hollow, and her children, Pat, Elizabeth, and Joseph.
A celebration of life will be announced at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in his honor to the charity of your choice. Arrangements are entrusted to RuebelFuneralHome.com
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