Newport, NH – On October 22, 2018, William Calvin “Bill” Patten passed away at his Newport home at the age of 95.
Bill was born in Newport on June 15, 1923, the eldest of three children born to Emery and Bertha (Brooks) Patten. He attended Newport schools, graduating from Towle High School in 1941.
In 1943, Bill joined the Army Air Corps, serving as a radioman in New Guinea and the Philippines during World War II. He separated from the Army in 1946, but was called back to active duty in 1950. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War, until his discharge in 1951.
On June 23, 1945, Bill married June Flora Sinclair of Newport. The marriage produced a daughter, Carolyn Elaine Patten, born in September 1955. June died in November 1963. Thereafter, on June 6, 1964, Bill married Jean Elaine Webster. The second marriage produced a son, William Webster Patten, born in June 1978.
Bill’s work experience in the communications and printing industry was extensive. As a young man, he worked for Western Union for a number of years, then for the Meredith News in Meredith, New Hampshire, before returning to Newport in the late 1950’s to work at the Argus Champion. During his 23 years at the “Argus,” he worked as a linotype operator, setting type for the weekly newspaper, as well as managing the print shop for the newspaper and the commercial job printing. His print jobs, which included a plethora of town reports for Newport and surrounding communities, were meticulous. Over the years, Bill saw the evolution of printing from hot metal typecasting to phototype systems. Bill’s passion was following Newport High School’s athletic programs, especially football, and writing weekly sports columns for the newspaper.
In the early 80’s, Bill partnered with Rick Holmes to found Newport Litho, a full-service printing company that furnished photo and typesetting for other printers, as well as specialty printing. Bill worked with Rick for two years.
Bill was then employed by Arlington Sample Book in Newport, performing pre-press functions for printing fabric and wallpaper sample pages, until he suffered a stroke in 1987. Upon recuperating, in 1988, Bill returned to work for the Argus Champion as a proofreader, continuing in that capacity until 1993, when he “retired,” although he continued to write a weekly “around the town” column into the early 2000’s.
For a number of years, Bill put his newspaper and printing expertise to use as a volunteer working on the American Cancer Society’s annual golf tournament, held at the Eastman Golf Links in Grantham, NH. His role was to compile a program featuring local advertising, as well as listing the sponsors, donors and players involved in the yearly pro-am fundraising tournament.
Bill was an avid reader and especially enjoyed mysteries and westerns. On a daily basis, he devoured the local news, and enjoyed watching classic television series, including Bonanza and MASH.
In addition to his parents and wife June, Bill was preceded in death by his wife Jean, his brother, Ronald Patten, and his sister, Scharley (Patten) Smith. He is survived by his daughter Carolyn, of San Diego, CA, and son William, of Newport; three grandchildren (Joshua, Rachel, and Jeremiah Frias, all of San Diego, CA); five great-grandchildren (Kevin Wilson, Jeremiah Frias, Camron Bellamy, Amaya Frias, and Moira Frias, all of San Diego, CA); and a number of nieces, nephews, and cousins.
The family would like give special thanks to the doctors and nurses of the VA Home Based Primary Care program for the outstanding care they provided Bill throughout the years.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date to provide family and friends the opportunity to say their goodbyes to Bill. There are no calling hours.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Bill’s honor to Richard’s Free Library in Newport or to the VA Hospital in White River Junction, VT.