To the editor:
I was saddened to learn of the passing of Jerry Patterson. Every town should be so lucky to have someone like Jerry. For over 50 years Jerry used baseball to provide the children of Fort Dodge not only a healthy opportunity to have fun and excitement but for many he was also a mentor, a guide and a respected elder that we kids could look up to.
Those who have been around Fort Dodge for some time may recall back in the '60s, before the shopping center was built, Jerry built the nicest ballpark around(home of the Fort Dodge Demons). I know because I had the pleasure to play for Jerry one year and we played not only throughout Iowa but also in Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. Jerry made us feel special and he taught us discipline and hard work.
A few years ago I had the opportunity to contribute a humble amount of money to one of Jerry's projects. it had been 50 years since I had played for Jerry and I was certain he had no idea who I was. And yet, shortly thereafter I received a very nice note from Jerry clearly recalling our team and some of my modest exploits, that one summer so very long ago. I'm certain Jerry could write a note like that to each and every youngster who had the pleasure of playing for him. Jerry didn't just care about children, he cared about each child. Thank you, Jerry.