Robert Erskine Patrick, Jr. was born in Newberry, SC on February 23, 1930. His parents were Robert Erskine and Anne Harkness Perry Patrick. An early babysitter got his name backwards and the nickname “Pat Robert” stuck with him all his life. Before he was 3 years old, they left Newberry for the RA Patrick home in White Oak.
Pat Robert attended school in Blackstock for 4 years and graduated from Mt. Zion Institute in Winnsboro in 1947. He then attended Erskine College, graduating in 1951. After graduation he joined the US Air Force as an aviation cadet, training in Bartow, FL, and earning his commission and pilot’s wings at Bryan, TX. After service in Korea he was appointed Professor of Air Science in the AFROTC program at USC. He later served in Vietnam. In his 25 year Air Force career, he completed 255 combat missions flying KC 135s and RF-4Cs, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, and the Air Medal with 9 Oak Leaf Clusters.
While stationed in Amarillo, TX he met the love of his life, Priscilla Garibay from Mexico City, whom he married in 1964. Daughter Perry Anne was born at Amarillo AFB, son Rob at March AFB, Riverside, CA, and son Paul at Shaw AFB, Sumter, SC. Pat Robert retired as Chief of Strategic Air Command Maintenance Control at Warner Robins AFB, GA. He was a lifetime member of the Military Officers Association and the Air Force Association.
At retirement Pat Robert moved his family back to White Oak to raise beef cattle and pine trees. He served as president of the board of Richard Winn Academy, the Fairfield Cattlemen’s Association, the county forestry commission, and the Lions Club. He was a Lion for over 40 years.
Pat Robert was a lifelong member of the White Oak Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, serving as a Deacon, Elder, and Clerk of Session. He also served as Moderator of Catawba Presbytery.
He is survived by his wife, Priscilla; daughter Perry Anne Patrick Scott (David); sons Robert Erskine III (Kim), and Paul (Marie), and 11 grandchildren: Leighton, Patrick, and Elizabeth Scott; Katherine, Rachel, Micah, and Jonah Patrick; and Hamilton, Savannah, Palmer, and Reece Patrick.
Due to Covid-19, a private family and church family funeral service with full military honors will be held at White Oak Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church conducted by Reverend James McManus and Reverend Calvin Todd. A recording of the service will be available at www.popefuneralhomesc.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Robert's memory to White ARP Church, 284 Patrick Road, White Oak, SC 29180.
Pope Funeral Home is assisting the Patrick family.
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