Thomas LaVern Patterson

Thomas LaVern Patterson, age 65, of Grand Rapids, MN, passed away Wednesday, November 13, 2019 surrounded by his family, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth.

Tom was born to Bev and Glenn Patterson in Grand Rapids, MN, March 20th, 1954. He graduated from Grand Rapids High School in 1972 and worked at Hibbing Taconite for 42 years. Tom married Donna Sue Whirley, the love of his life in 1973.

Tom was an avid hunter and fisherman. He loved the outdoors and spent most of his life in the woods or on the lake. Taking the family camping was his idea of an amazing vacation. He had a strong love of animals and a deep connection with his bird Corkie, whom he had for 26 years. Tom enjoyed spending time at home with his family. He loved having pizza with the grandkids, a daily phone call to say, “Hola” and putting his cold hands on the back of your neck and teasing whenever he had the chance. Tom was an amazing caretaker for his wife before her passing. He was always the provider, giving money or food and often gave just a bit too much.

He is preceded in death by his wife; his mother; his mother and father in law, Donna and Donald Whirley; his brothers, Jerry Dean and Tim Patterson; and his sister, Sharon Patterson.

He is survived by his father, Glenn; son, Jerry Patterson; daughter, Jolene Parker (Matt Carter); grandchildren, Ari and Mirah Parker; brother Bill Patterson; sisters-in-law, Diana (Ken) Stender, Peg (Wally) Fox, Nancy (Don) Young; brothers-in-law, Dave Whirley and Dick Whirley; and many aunts, uncles and extended family.

A Celebration of Tom’s Life will be Saturday, November 23, 2019 from 12:30 PM until 3:00 PM at the Loyal Order of Moose Club in Grand Rapids, MN.

Arrangements are with Rowe Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Grand Rapids, MN. To sign the online guestbook or send condolences visit

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