Martha Mae Patterson (nee Armstrong), 98, of Braidwood, passed away peacefully, Thursday (July 4, 2019) at Heritage Manor Nursing Home in Dwight.

She was born June 30, 1921, in Virginia, IL. She was the sixth of nine children born to Daniel Crockett and Elva Clara (nee Miller) Armstrong.

Martha graduated from Beardstown High School. Soon after graduation she worked for Douglas Aircraft in Chicago during World War II installing aircraft interiors. She married James William Patterson on Jan. 28, 1950, in his parents’ home in Braidwood, which was also the funeral home at the time. Together they served Will and Grundy counties in the family funeral business until their retirement in April 1984.

In 1958, James and Martha built a second location of the Patterson Funeral Home in South Wilmington. In 1963, they built a new structure to house the Patterson Funeral Home, Braidwood facility, on the spot previously occupied by the East School. For many years they also operated Patterson Ambulance Service with the help of several local friends until the Braidwood Fire Department started an ambulance service in 1974.

Martha enjoyed giving back to the community in any way she could. She was a faithful parishioner of the First Presbyterian Church in Braidwood and a member of the Presbyterian Women for nearly 70 years. She was a former Sunday school teacher, elder, clerk of session, and treasurer for the Presbyterian Women. She was past matron of Holly Chapter 183 O.E.S. in Braidwood for more than 70 years and a member of the VFW Auxiliary in Wilmington. Martha, along with Jessie Berg, began Santa’s Helpers in Braidwood in February 1996; Martha was also the treasurer.

In her later years, she enjoyed baking sweets for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She also enjoyed sewing; you could always count on her to fix anything with material. Martha was a kind and generous woman and will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

Surviving are two sons, James Robert (Sherry) Patterson, of St. Joseph, Mich., and Roger William (Kathy) Patterson, of Coal City; one daughter, Carol Kay (Sam) Bissel, of Lafeyette, Ga.; four grandchildren, Lisa (the late Tom) Moro, Holli (Tim) Washburn, Christopher (Christine) Patterson and Sara (Josh) Foote; two stepgrandchildren, Tony (Allison) Crone and Adam Crone; eight grandchildren, Ben and Kate Moro, William McArdle, Steven Patterson, Alex (Chris) De La Rosa, Isaac Sawyer, and Lucas and Mackenzie Foote; three stepgreat-grandchildren, Parker, Palmer and Serena Crone; brother-in-law, Raymond Favero, of Braidwood; and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, James William Patterson, who passed away March 10, 2014; five brothers, Henry, William, Arthur, Ernest and Raymond Armstong; three sisters, Thelma Young, LaVerne Way and Dorothy Zauratsky; sister-in-law, Mary Jean Favero; and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Robert and Toni Patterson.

Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, at the R.W. Patterson Funeral Home, Braidwood, where funeral services for Martha will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 10, with Pastor Jan Chandler officiating. Interment will be in Oakwood Cemetery, Wilmington. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in her name may be directed to the First Presbyterian Church or Santa’s Helpers.

Please sign her online guestbook at


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Please be civil. Don't threaten others. Don't make obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist, sexist or otherwise demeaning statements. Be respectful of others even if you disagree with them.
Please be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Please be proactive. Report abusive posts.
Please share updates or more information. We value your input and opinion.