Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Herman Wendell Van Patten, 76, of Searcy, left this world on Saturday, July 7, 2007.

He was born in Pangburn, Ark. on Sept. 22, 1930. He was preceded in death by his parents, I.B. and Linnie Van Patten. Herman graduated from Searcy High School in 1949 and attended the University of Arkansas and UCA (formerly State Teachers college) where he played in the jazz band. He enjoyed playing the oboe, clarinet and saxophone. Herman was retired. Herman was a member of the Arkansas National Guard and one of his duties was driving the jeep which safely escorted the “Little Rock Nine” to school each morning during the Central High crisis in 1957. Herman was extremely patriotic and taught his children to appreciate the price that was paid for freedom.

He was happily married to Hettivee Van Patten for over 51 years who survives him. He is also survived by three children, Jeff Van Patten and wife, Kenny of Maumelle, Ark., Dana Van Patten McKinney and husband, Rick of Jonesboro, and Suzanne Van Patten of Frisco, Texas; three brothers, I.B. Van Patten, Leon Van Patten, and Dale Van Patten all of Searcy, Ark. He also leaves his special grandchildren, Rachel and Cam McKinney of Jonesboro and Will and Katie Van Patten of Maumelle, Ark. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He never seemed to “meet a stranger”, and will be greatly missed by all. He greatly loved his family and friends who will remember him as “a man of joy.” He was witty and found joy in making others laugh. His grandchildren were always amazed that he could fix almost anything.

For over 60 years he was a member of
First United Methodist Church in Searcy, Ark. where he was very active on various committees, including the Good Sam's organization and Shoe Box ministry. Herman had a beautiful tenor voice and sang in the First United Methodist Church choir for over 60 years. On Sunday evenings he often led the church service in singing hymns. He was also a member of the Van Patten handbell choir, which he and his wife funded. Herman enjoyed being a Sunday school teacher in the Murray Sunday school class where he served for several decades.

Herman had many interests, but his main interests were his family, friends, music and golf. He was a member of the Searcy Jaycees where he worked on many projects including the successful creation of the White County Hospital (now White County Medical Center). Herman loved to play golf and had the distinction of recording two holes in one on different golf holes at the River Oaks Golf Club shortly after his 72 birthday.

The family asks that memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church Music Ministry in
Searcy, Ark. Online guestbook www.RollerFuneralHomes.com or (501) 268-3546.

Funeral was this morning.


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