Cover photo for Barbara Jean Patterson's Obituary
Barbara Jean Patterson Profile Photo
1946 Barbara Jean Patterson 2024

Barbara Jean Patterson

November 15, 1946 — March 26, 2024


Barbara Jean Patterson (a.k.a. Judy-Barb) died March 26, 2024, in Kalamazoo, Michigan from pancreatic cancer and fought hard. She was born November 15, 1946, in Oak Park, Illinois. Barb was preceded in death by her parents, John S. and Blanche E. Patterson; her brother, James S. Patterson; and her beloved bichon, Cuddles. Some of Barb’s earliest memories were of growing up in Wild Rose, Wisconsin and helping with the family’s Borden Dairy route. She was proud of her Scottish heritage and had traveled to Scotland with her family.

Barb’s family eventually moved to Kalamazoo Michigan to start the first McDonald’s franchise in this area. Her father died a year after they moved, and her mother became one of the few female franchise owners in the United States. Barb graduated from Portage High School and received a BA in Education and MA in Counseling from Western Michigan University. 

She began her teaching career in Pullman, Michigan and then became the first female manager of Stop and Go convenience stores. She returned to education as a tutor for Parsons Business School. When Parsons Business School was acquired by Davenport College, she became head of the Academic Advising and assembled a talented team. In 1992, she was promoted to Associate Dean for Academic Advising and was responsible for the academic success and retention of students for the Kalamazoo and other campuses. In 2004, Barb retired from her last academic position as Vice Principal for Academic Advising at Loy Norrix High School. 

Barb was generous with her time and talent, volunteering at many local non-profit organizations, including Loaves and Fishes and various elementary schools in Kalamazoo and Surprise, Arizona. Barb was mentor and advocate for many, especially her mentee—Megan. Barb continued her family’s tradition of donating to causes close to her heart, including The Kalamazoo Community Foundation, Open Doors, Disability Network and First Day Shoe Fund.

She loved to travel—especially planning individual trips with her nieces and nephews. Other interests included making greeting cards, following politics, and spending time with her DWTS (Dancing With The Stars) Netflix group and coffee/birthday club in Arizona. She was a member of First United Methodist Church, Kalamazoo.

Barb is survived by her sister-in-law, Paulette Patterson, and her children: James (Theresa), Christopher (Jessica) and Patrick (Jennifer) Patterson. Surviving grandnephews include Joshua and Jet, grandnieces Quinn and Ava Patterson. Barb is also survived by cousins, Mary Ellen Bakken and Michael (Kari) O’Connor, and her honorary nieces: Mya Collins, Mari Lower and Shani Meyer and their families; and her cousin, Lois Kroc. Barb is also survived by her beloved bichon, Ellie. 

The family would like to thank those who cared for Barb—especially Barb and Dick Ley, Deb and Don Seeley, Lynn and Jerry Albertson, Sharon and Don Schmidt, Robyn Cassel, Connie Latvala, her Osprey Way neighbors, visiting nurse, Megan, and special “earthly angel,” Erin Nier, who was so dear to Barb and provided a loving home for Ellie.

Services will be Saturday, May 11, 2024 at Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial and Cremation Services, 3926 S 9th St, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49009. A gathering of friends will begin at 10 a.m., followed by a service at 11 a.m., and a luncheon after the service. 

Donations may be made to the Kalamazoo Community Foundation’s Blanche E. and Barbara J. Patterson Fund, 402 E Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, Michigan - 49007, or a charity of your choice.

To share a memory or leave a condolence for the family visit

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Jean Patterson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Gathering

Saturday, May 11, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)


Click to watch

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 502

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree