Philanthropists honored during ceremony

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Al Key/DRC
Denton Mayor Chris Watts, far left, unveils the plaque honoring Fred Patterson, second from left, Patsy Patterson and Roy Appleton, seated, during a reception at the Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Arts on Tuesday. Standing at right is the Pattersons’ son Bill Patterson, publisher and CEO of the Denton Record-Chronicle.
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More than 100 show up for unveiling of plaques

Two bronze plaques were unveiled Tuesday for the Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Arts.

More than 100 people attended the naming ceremony and reception, held at the center located at 400 E. Hickory St., honoring Denton philanthropists Fred and Patsy Patterson and Roy Appleton Jr.

The Patterson couple has “been instrumental in promoting the arts in Denton for many, many years,” according to Roni Beasley, who spoke about the Pattersons at Tuesday’s ceremony.

Fred Patterson, publisher emeritus of the Denton Record-Chronicle, has served on the Greater Denton Arts Council and as fundraising co-chairman for the Center for the Visual Arts and led the $1.8 million effort to renovate the Campus Theatre into a performing arts building.

Patsy Patterson served as The Arts Guild president in the mid-1990s, president of the Denton Community Theatre, and president and charter member of the Denton Benefit League.

Fred Patterson expressed his gratitude to members of the arts council and the city of Denton on Tuesday. He said the building that now bears his family name was constructed in 1929, the year he was born.

“Patsy and I will always cherish this day and the opportunity to have assisted in the growth of the arts of downtown Denton,” Fred Patterson said as he fought back tears. “It’s meant a lot to me, and I thank everybody for being here with us today.”

According to local officials, Appleton was instrumental in bringing cable television to Denton, he served as chairman of the Denton Chamber of Commerce, was on the board of United Way of Denton County and participated with several other local organizations.

Appleton was general manager for the Record-Chronicle at the time of his retirement in 1991.

In remarks to the audience, Appleton shared fond memories of traveling the country and promoting the city of Denton. He also expressed gratitude to those who attended Tuesday’s ceremony.

The Denton City Council officially renamed the center in honor of the Pattersons and Appleton last month.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.

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