William Dorrance (1929-2001) and Jeraldyn Jane (1931-2004) Patterson married in 1953 and had six children: Chris Ann, William Dorrance, Jr., Douglas Wayne, David Warren, Donald Wesley, and Chanon Jane.
After 13 years of marriage, Bill, who’d grown up Catholic, began taking instruction at Jerry’s Lutheran church. There he discovered the unconditional grace of God, and his favorite passage became Ephesians 2:8-9. He couldn’t say it without crying.
An engineer by trade, Bill served as Sunday school teacher, elder, congregational chairman, and district mission board member. Jerry served on Ladies’ Aid and the LWMS circuit committee, and loved to help out in the church kitchen.
“Mom and Dad loved the Word of God and highly regarded their pastors,” said their son, Rev. Donald Patterson. “They wanted to leave a legacy of more pastors to teach the Word and had a special interest in helping men who went through school with a family, as I did. They wanted to remove any financial obstacles that would keep good men from becoming pastors.”
To honor their parents and sustain this legacy, the Patterson family has established this scholarship for Martin Luther College preseminary students who have families to support.