A Tribute to Jerry Patton
We are heavyhearted by the passing of GHCA Past Chair Jerry Patton. Jerry was a leader devoted to our mission of service and the epitome of a true and steadfast friend. Throughout his life, he fostered friendships that stood the test of time, and his memory will live on in the hearts of all those who loved him. Jerry will be deeply missed, and we will endeavor to honor his legacy by doing what made him proud of this Association and all its members - working our hardest to advance quality care and enhance the lives of your residents and patients.
As we pay tribute to Jerry's life and legacy, we ask that you continue to keep his loved ones in your thoughts and prayers during this incredibly difficult time.
A Statement from A.G. Rhodes President & CEO Deke Cateau
“Jerry Patton was a nursing home operator at heart. I learned that right away as I toured A.G. Rhodes Atlanta during my interview with him in 2009 to become the home's next Administrator. I immediately connected with him and knew we would work well together. What I didn't know then was that our work camaraderie would develop into a true, lifelong friendship and that I could always count on him for his sound, reasoned and balanced advice.
“When he left to run his own nursing home in 2016, he left big shoes for me to fill as the next COO. He had built a team that innovated and produced incredibly high results that led to equally high quality of care. Jerry let his actions speak louder than his words. Never quick to respond, Jerry would take the time to be thoughtful and assess a situation from all sides before replying. He never forgot how he started this work as a CNA in high school, and then later as a nursing home Administrator. He always kept focus on the greater good for residents and the staff that cared for them. Jerry took to heart an important Administrator's credo that, ‘if you take good care of your staff they, in turn, will take good care of your residents'. They were not just words to him; they were his North Star.
“Though we will miss him tremendously, I am grateful that he was part of my life and know that A.G. Rhodes and the entire Georgia long term care community is better because of him.”
A Statement from GHCA Chair Suzanne Gerhardt
"Many words come to mind when I think of Jerry. Kind, compassionate, and funny are a few, but the traits that mean the most to me include the love he had for this industry, his friendship to so many people, and his passion for GHCA. The loss we all feel by Jerry being taken so early is profound and hard to put into words. What I do know is that he is still cheering us on and encouraging us to continue to care for the elderly population of this great state. Jerry considered it an honor and pleasure to do so and showed it often through his words and actions.
"William Woodsworth once said, 'the best portion of a good man's life is his little nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love'. I know so much good that Jerry did went unnoticed, and I am sure there are acts we will never even know occurred. Jerry was a great man, and we will all miss him and his contributions."
A Statement from longtime GHCA member and Owner/Operator Harve Bauguess
“The first thought that crosses my mind when I think of Jerry is the old expression ‘stand-up guy'. Jerry and I worked together for over 20 years and his attitude, professionalism, and compassion for other people - both staff and residents - was his hallmark.
“Jerry was much more than an employee; he was a dear friend, and I will miss him every day.”
A Statement from GHCA VP of Operations Sylvia Barnes
“I had the great pleasure and honor of working closely with Jerry for many years during my tenure with GHCA and especially when he led the Association as Chair. I admired his unfaltering leadership during a challenging time and his advocacy efforts, not just on behalf of the long term care profession but also on behalf of GHCA's professional staff. Jerry was unwavering in his support of our team and the work we do on behalf of the membership. Though we knew he was incredibly busy running operations in his buildings, he took the time to act as our leader amid a time of transition, never hesitating to pitch in and provide much-needed guidance. I know our entire team is grateful for how he entrusted us to do our jobs and expressed his confidence in the services we provide to our members.
“Jerry undoubtedly gave his all to those he served, each and every day, and made it well-known he always had your back. I am forever grateful for his friendship and the good memories that I will cherish for a lifetime.”
Click here for Jerry's life tribute page. A Celebration of Life service will be held in memory of Jerry on Saturday, August 12, 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at A.G. Rhodes in Atlanta (350 Boulevard SE, Atlanta, GA 30312). In lieu of flowers, Jerry's loved ones ask that donations be made to the Lucy M. Rogers Nurse Scholarship Fund in his honor. Donations can be made online here.