Joe and Wilma Patton, always on the west side of Max Morris Gym

By Steve Dunford 

The Patton’s have been married 72 years and are long time High School basketball fans.

WEST FRANKFORT –  When I am at Max Morris Gym to cover the Redbirds I can always count on Joe and Wilma Patton to be there.

Both are Gallatin County natives.  Joe answered the call to preach in his thirties, and still preaches on occasion.  He was a long time pastor of the first Baptist church in Ridgway.

Joe and Wilma attend church where I do at Calvary Baptist Church in West Frankfort.  One of his closest friends is Ridgway and later Gallatin County coaching legend Bob Dallas.  At church on Chirstmas Eve, he told me he wishes it wasn’t so cold or he would like to go a day or two to the Eldroado Holiday Tournament.

I pick his mind about several things, mainly about the bible and high school basketball at the past.  You can nearly find him each afternoon spreading his wisdom at Dixie Cream, which he refers to as “the donut shop.”

The Patton’s have been married 72 years.   I did not know this until here recently but Wilma robbed the cradle, as she is 89 and Joe is 87.

They have lived in West Frankfort eight years.  They have sat in those same seats to watch four great-grandsons go though the Redbird program.  They have watched Trenton and Keegan Easley wear the red and grey.  They watched Hunter and now C.J Johnson play for the Redbirds.

When the Redbirds are on the road, they listen to Rick Westmeyer and Michael Marlo bring the action on WFRX.

If the Lord is willing, I hope to see them at Max Morris Gym on Saturday nigh, if not in Church on Sunday.

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