John W. (Red) Pattillo
Alpine TX John W. (Red) Pattillo died Tuesday, March 7, 2006 after having lived a full life in service to God, his family, and his community.
Red was born in Yoakum, Texas on November 15, 1925 to Oscar Harris Pattillo and Lois Allen Pattillo. In 1943 Red left high school early to join the war effort. While in the navy, he sailed on six of the seven seas and served in both the European and Pacific theaters during WWII. He survived two weeks on the open sea after his ship was torpedoed and sunk. Returning from the war, he moved to Alpine on the insistence of his sister Marie Gard and thus began a lifelong love affair with Alpine and the Big Bend. He enrolled at Sul Ross (B.S. Biology 1964). He married Laura Newell in 1948 and they moved to Houston where he worked for Shell Chemical until 1952. The family returned to Alpine in 1953. Red worked as a route salesman for Newell Oil Company for a few years before he ran the Gulf Service Center across from the Holland Hotel for almost 20 years.
In 1975 he married Ronnie Hartnett Sanchez and joined her in running the Casa Blanca Cafe serving Sul Ross Specials, campechanas and triple decker hamburgers to thousands of hungry Sul Ross students, west Texas residents, and tourists on their way to the Big Bend. He never failed to bring roses to the tables of all the pretty ladies.
Red truly believed in the importance of public service and community involvement. He served on the AISD school board during the 1970â€™s and was Brewster County Democratic Chairman. He was the Brewster County Commissioner for Precinct 2 for 20 years and would have begun a new term this November. He had a special place in his heart for the residents of South Brewster County and the Terlingua schools.
He is survived by his brother James and wife Betty Gerbert of Odessa, sisters Ruby Hyatt of Heathsville, VA and Marylou Uhrich of Hershey, PA.
Red is also survived by his beautiful, loving wife Ronnie Hartnett Pattillo, his children Lt. Col. Michael Pattillo (US Army Ret.) (Maurine) of San Antonio, James Pattillo (Rosni) of Alpine, Marylou Chandler (Leslie) of Poteet, Bonnie Lewis (Tom) of Carmel, IN, Ann Banick (Bill) of Clear Lake, Laura Parsons (Brent) of Leander, Knobby Sanchez (Jackie) of Midland and Pamela Sanchez Abbott (Mickey) of San Angelo. Red has 21 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Marie Gard, and brothers Capt. Harris Pattillo (USN Ret.) and Oscar Pattillo.
Red will be greatly missed by all. He never met a stranger and touched the lives of all he met. His love of and commitment to Brewster County was evident to the very end.
Visitation was held from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Geeslin Funeral Home in Alpine and a Rosary was recited at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 9 at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Alpine. Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, March 10 at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church with burial following at Holy Angels Cemetery. Geeslin Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Terlingua Common School District or Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Alpine.