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Funeral services set for community leader

Profile image for By John D. Harden / Staff Writer
By John D. Harden / Staff Writer

First United Methodist Church in Denton will have funeral services at 10 a.m. Wednesday for the Sanger City Council member who died Friday from injuries sustained in a car accident.

Mayor Pro Tem Robert “Rusty” Patton, 66, served on the City Council for more than six years and was re-elected to his fourth term in May.

Sanger Mayor Thomas Muir requested that all city flags be flown at half-staff in honor of Patton.

Patton’s family members have asked that people make memorial donations to the Wounded Warrior Project or the Sanger Education Project instead of sending flowers.

Muir called Patton a longtime friend and his death a great loss.

The accident occurred in Young County, 2 1/2 miles east of Graham, as Patton traveled eastbound in his Chevrolet pickup on U.S. Highway 380.

A Texas Department of Public Safety official said Patton struck a Dodge pickup from behind as the Dodge slowed to make a left turn. The accident happened early Friday afternoon, and Patton died at about 7:45 p.m. after he was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

A DPS official said he was not sure how fast each vehicle was traveling at the time of the accident. The speed limit for the road is 70 mph.

The driver of the Dodge was uninjured but a passenger in the truck was treated for injuries and released, according to DPS reports.

Patton was born in Sanger and graduated from Sanger High School in 1964. He served in the U.S. Navy as a radio mechanic on a submarine from 1968 to 1972. He also attended the University of Texas and graduated from what was then North Texas State University.

He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Terri Patton; a sister, Patricia Harberson; a daughter, Lisa Diane Patton Bell; and a son, Casey Ray Patton.

The Sanger City Council will seek to fill the vacant seat in the coming days. Those interested will need to complete an application. The council will then ask prospective candidates to share their vision with the council.

“Then council can deliberate and vote to fill the vacant seat,” Muir said.

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is .