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Smith “Bub” Patrick

Magoffin lost a longtime business owner and WWII veteran, Smith “Bub” Patrick, who passed away last week.

The family submitted this eulogy at the SI’s request, honoring Patrick’s life:

Smith (Bub) Patrick was born at Hendricks, Kentucky, on July 23, 1923. The son of Hamilton and Mousa Owens Patrick. He was the youngest son of five boys – Jasper, Marvin, James and Frank, and two girls – Lena and Eliza. He was the last surviving member of this family, departing this life at the age of 97 years, 8 months, and 12 days.

Bub met and married Pauline Rice of Johnson County and sometime after this marriage, he enlisted in the Navy. His term of service in the Navy was from December 13, 1943, to January 27, 1946. He served on the USS Gemini. Even though he didn’t talk a lot about his time in the Navy, he was very proud to have served his country during World War II.

Along with his parents and siblings, he is also preceded in death by Pauline on May 18, 2005. He is survived by his children and several grandchildren. His grandchildren were very special to him, especially when they were young. He would pick up Stephanie when she was a toddler and keep her all day, just riding around in the car.

Even though during Bub’s younger years he was an accomplished pool player, he realized that raising a family required a more stable profession. He got involved in a heavy equipment and trucking company, which later came to be known as the Smith Patrick Trucking Company. This company had gone through many trials, but had prevailed all these years until recently, closing its doors on December 31, 2020.

Running a company and seeing the results of building a road or clearing land for the purpose of constructing new buildings was his passion. Most men have hobbies like hunting and fishing, but Bub’s hobby was working. This may seem strange to some people, but this was what he enjoyed. He had a really strong work ethic that became present as a young man.

Being really close to his mother was instrumental in making him the man he became. She instilled in him the need to stay away from the harmful vices of this world. A mother’s love can accomplish many things.

Bub was very successful in the business world. He always seemed to make the right decisions when it came to improving his company. He was truly a self-made man.

Bub was always very generous and helpful to his employees with any of their needs or problems. He was always fair, but he expected them to be committed to their work. He figured out the secret to having a good employee-employer relationship. Being respectful of each other made for a good working environment.

Bub was a very private person that was always concerned about his appearance. His family could not convince him to quit wearing those stiff, slick, Allen Edmond shoes that he had to order. He said you could tell a lot about a person by their shoes. On one of his trips to the doctor, he looked over at Durwood and ask him if he looked okay and did his hair need combing. This was so him, worrying about his appearance.

This trait seemed to flow all the way down to his grandchildren. Stephanie was always worrying about her Pap-aw’s clothes and making sure he had what he needed to be comfortable. She was so glad her Pap-aw had named her because her parents would probably have named her Duretta.

One of Bub’s greatest pleasures was being with his little dog, Maggie. She was so special to him. She was his constant companion. Everywhere he went, she went. If Maggie was not allowed to go in a building, he wouldn’t go in, either. When he went to the bank, he said he had to take Maggie to see Janet Cole. Maggie would always go with him to get his hair cut and would sit in one of the chairs.

They said she was better behaved than most children. Maggie passed away in 2017. This was a great loss for him. During his last days, he would sometimes ask for Maggie.

Bub had a great love for family. He loved the Fourth of July reunions with the Prock Owens Family.

They treated him like royalty and showered him with lots of kisses and hugs, which he truly enjoyed.

Bub had a lot of cousins, nieces, and nephews, which were always concerned about his health. This gave him a lot of comfort to know that he was so loved ant that his family still had him in their thoughts after all these years.

He also had two special people, Don and Mary Rice of Michigan, that really cared about him. They never forgot his birthdays and usually made a point to visit during this time. The one present he could count on receiving from them was the delivery of a dozen yellow roses.

Bub began to attend church at the Burning Fork Community Church through the encouragement of a friend. This led to him accepting Jesus as his Savior, and being baptized on April 8, 2018, by pastor Doug Dunn. Each Sunday, his church family always took care of him because he usually arrived an hour before church started. He always depended on Eddith Hensley being in church on Sundays. She would sit with him and make sure somebody was there to pick him up at the end of the service. This was the same as being with family. If she was absent, another member would take on that responsibility. This was a great comfort to the family. The family really appreciates all the phone calls, visits, and cards by Pastor Dunn and other members of the church. A special thanks to Thomas Adams, his special young friend, for the get-well cards and the pictures he would draw on the inside of the card. This made Bub feel so special.

Bub’s health began failing about six months ago. He and Emily Russell had enjoyed weekly outings to Captain D’s Seafood Restaurant in Pikeville with Eric and Tina. He could always count on them for a road trip and a meal. They were always just a phone call away, day or night, if Bub needed any kind of help. These trips were one of the highlights of his week.

He also looked forward to going to Walmart with Emily and sitting on the bench in front of the store and talking to people he hadn’t seen in a long time. He said everybody knew him. These are just a few of the things he couldn’t do in the last few months.

Emily, his love and companion for so many years, was always making sure Bub was well taken care of. She was his life partner throughout the good times, as well as the bad. They had a truly special relationship.

These last few months Bub was fortunate to have had Lisa Back and Alex Risner to help take care of him. Both girls were so special to him. He was happy and content as long as one of them was with him. He treated them like a beloved family member, and they did the same for him. The family is so lucky to have had this kind of dedication and commitment to making sure all his needs were met.

Bub will truly be missed by his family members and friends. He was respected and admired by all that knew him. A close family friend once said upon meeting Bub for the first time he knew that he had met a “legend.”

Today, as we all say “goodbye” to Bub, we can rest in the assurance that he is with his heavenly Father and that he will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

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