Bobbie
Bobbie (Florence) Patten beloved wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sisiter, aunt, and friend passed away peacefully with her family at her side on August 28, 2004. She was born to Robert and Mary Florence on December 6, 1931 in Longview, Texas. At nine years old, she moved with her parents and sisters to Redondo Beach, CA. Bobbie loved the city of Redondo Beach and chose to make it her home for over 63 years. She graduated from Redondo Union High School, where she met and married her high school sweetheart, Dale Patten. They had five children and were married 53 years. Bobbie, along with her parents and sisters worked in the family business, Florence Fabrics, for 57 years. She was a member of the Redondo Beach Historical Society and was happy to open her home several times for their historical home tours. She was a supporter of the Redondo Union High School Alumni Association. Bobbie was also a member of the First Baptist Church of Redondo Beach, where she and her husband were married in 1951. Bobbie loved vacationing with her family to places such as Yosemite, Lake Arrowhead, and Hawaii. She especially loved the Hawaiian Islands, where recently she and her husband Dale celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by taking their children and grandchildren to Maui. Bobbie adored her six grandchildren who called her ''Honey'' from the moment they learned to speak. Bobbie leaves behind her husband, Dale; daughters, Pam Eubanks, Mary Wheeler, Joy Wells and Jennifer Patten; her grandchildren, Jamie, Erin, David and Lauren Eubanks, and Brenden and Brian Wells. She also leaves behind her mother, Mary Florence; her sisters Katy Matthews and Shirley Maxwell. She also had many cherished nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Sadly, she was preceded in death by her son Wade Patten and her brother Richard Florence. Bobbie loved people. Her gift to us all was her kindness, thoughtfulness, compassion, and most of all, her smile. Until we meet again ''Honey'', we love you... Visitation will be Wednesday, September 1, 2004, 4:00p.m. to 8:00p.m. at White and Day Colonial Chapel in Redondo Beach. Funeral services will be Thursday, September 2, 2004, at 1:00p.m. at Green Hills Memorial Park Chapel in Rancho Palos Verdes.

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  1. Dear Neighbors, I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with my friend Bobbie Patten almost a year ago to record some of the highlights of her life for Redondo Memories. This story was forwarded to my classmate Steve Felix who distributed our memories to more than 300 former Redondo High School students. I understand the e-mail re-ssued by CaSearcher@aol.com was forwarded to you by Steve Bopp who along with Myrta Gilman, Don Cody, and Doretta Carter have offered their sympathy to me for your family. I hope I covered her life properly and with all of my love for you. Henry Burke

  2. Steve, Ten months ago CaSearcher used one of my favorite memories about the Patten family of 411 Emerald Street. My dear friend Bobbie Patten of the Redondo High Class of 1950 passed away Saturday, August 28, following two weeks of hospitalization. Funeral arrangements are pending, but are expected to be Thursday at Green Hills Chapel. A year ago our classmate Fred Arenz reminded us of the World War II era when RUHS was the first school awarded an “E” flag for reaching its quota of war bond purchases. The flag ceremony took place in a magnificent setting near the front steps leading to the old auditorium which was connected to those two wings of the school and bounded by Coast Highway and Diamond Street. Halfway down PCH and halfway up Diamond St. was a circular very wide concrete pedestrian walkway that on this day in history was used to drive the motorcade to the platform where America\’s most famous war hero General George C. Patten gave us a taste of one of his pep talks. He made a point of using the word “Damn” at least once, right across the street from St. James Church. After the speech a neighbor of ours walked up to General Patten and invited him to a tea at her home at 411 Emerald Street. The general accepted the invitation. What easily won him over was her name Hazel Patten who was active in the RUHS PTA, wife of businessman Carl Patten, and mother of Carl Patten Jr., Lillian Egglestone, and Dale Patten. While enjoying refreshments at the home, General grabbed 14-year-old Dale by the shoulder and asked him, “When are you going to join us in the Army, young man?” Dale responded. “I\’m planning to go into the Navy with my brother, Sir!” he said very frankly. That was not what the general was expecting to hear. But that is the way Dale Patten has always faced life. Straight forward all the time. Another “Redondo Memories” chapter by Sue Bouse, I believe, tells about shopping at old downtown Redondo. One of her favorite stores was the Remnant Shop on South Benita owned and operated by Mary and Robert Florence. The Florence family came to Redondo Beach from Texas in 1941. The Florences had three daughters and a son. They are Kathy (Florence) Matthews, Shirley (Florence) Maxwell, Richard Florence, and Bobbie (Florence) Patten. Are you getting the idea of this story? Bobbie Florence married Dale Patten more than 50 years ago and they have always lived in Redondo Beach. Dale and Bobbie were both born in 1931. There is a lot more to this story, so let\’s go far back to 1927 when the Patten Drugstore and Fountain was opened in downtown Redondo. Carl Patten was the first licensed pharmacist from USC coming to do business in Redondo. Hazel ran the “soda fountain.” They lived on the 300 block of Emerald St. Later the couple moved to San Diego where they opened a chain of Patten Drugstores, but after struggling during the 1930\’s Depression, the Pattens returned to Redondo in 1935 and bought the large home at 411 Emerald St. The 2-story 100-year-old house has been visited on different occasions by the Redondo Beach Historical Society “home tour” and was once a weekend public dining facility and boarding house. During the 40\’s Carl operated a Patten Drugstore and precious metals business in San Pedro. Gasoline rationing prompted the Pattons to live near the business, leading to the sale of the Redondo Beach home to Art Hargrove who later sold it to Bea and Gordon Bashaw. When Gordon became a crossing guard at Beryl School and bought a home within walking distance of work, Dale and Bobbie anxiously bought back the home where Dale\’s family once lived on Emerald Street. What Bobbie Patten remembers the most about Redondo was the Florence family living at 109 North Lucia, across street from the site of Hillcrest (Parris) School. It was used as a helicopter landing strip for delivery of U.S. Mail to the Redondo Beach Post Office every noontime. The noise and dust struck every day like clockwork. Working at the Remnant Shop on Benita Street gave Bobbie a chance to enjoy all the fun places in downtown Redondo. She especially enjoyed collecting moonstones along the beach and fishing on the pier with her father. He was also a commercial fisherman and worked in the shipyards before opening the remant store. Bobbie\’s memories and number of friends in Redondo are endless. Her first job was babysitting Sarah and Bill Schipper\’s children and working at the Parisian Cleaners. Redondo billiard parlors were prime “getaway” places for Rickie Florence who mastered the “game of pool” and became one of the youngest players to be accepted in world competition. Eventually he promoted world championship billiard tournaments at Caesar\’s in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe and was advisor on the motion picture, “The Hustler.” When the Al Protsch Building sandwiched between Pacific Avenue and Benita was headed for “Urban Renewal,” the Florence family signed the first lease in the Redondo Triangle at 250 Hermosa Avenue. During one of those famous Redondo storms at sea, more than a foot of sand and ocean water swept across the waterfront and street into (their) place of business. It was not pretty. About 1960 the Florences again signed the first lease at the Rolling Hills Plaza at Crenshaw and Pacific Coast Highway in Torrance. For a while the family also maintained “Florence Fabrics” at 23104 Hawthorne Blvd. which was opened in 1963 and continues to serve the community, but the Plaza store has been closed. During their careers Bobbie and Dale Patten had five children. They are Wade Patten who became a quadriplegic following an accident and lives in Madera, Ca; Pamela Eubanks who has three children; Mary Wheeler who has a daughter and lives in Santa Rosa; Joy Wells, widowed with two children, and lovely Jennifer Patten. When the girls were fresh out of Redondo High School, they worked and shopped at the Rolling Hills Plaza store a lot. One afternoon Mary and Joy went next door to Seymour\’s Jewelry Store and got stuck right in the middle of a dangerous 1-man robbery. They were among 11 hostages taken by a person known as “Amazon” and held at gunpoint for several hours. Within a short time every Torrance police unit, the L. A. swat team, and every L. A. television station gave the hostage situation full-time coverage. The two sisters were used against each other at gunpoint by a person not afraid to use it to break open cases of valuables for this idiot as he was planning his escape. The police command post was set up in the yardage store. When Dale Patten arrived at the scene from Redondo, he was prepared to dash into the store to save his daughters at any cost, so he had to be restrained by the Torrance P.D. Eventually the gunman\’s wife, two children, and clergymen appealed to him to surrender. We were all nervous watching the drama unfold on television until it ended. When Bobbie Patten was held at gunpoint herself at the Plaza fabric store, she knew what to do. She simply gave the bad guy everything he wanted from the cash register. Having gotten the license plate number from the “getaway car,” the police apprehended this thief near San Pedro. He had a habit of robbing businesses operated by women. For most of her life, Mary Florence, now 91, was very active in the dry goods, yardage, fabric, and now what is referred to as a textile business. She always cherished members of her family helping being on the job with her. Bobbie is mostly confined to a wheelchair and receives constant phone calls while Dale experiments with hobbies in his garage. Before retiring, Dale Patten had a long career as a precision machinist. As a young boy he loved to work on his Cushman motor scooter and thought of himself as sort of an inventor. One of his boyhood experiments backfired and he set the whole garage ablaze in their backyard. On the west side of his folks\’ property, Mayor Charles Wortham was trying to hose down the back of his cottage rentals, while on the east side of the fence, Mom was sprinkling “Holy Water” on the flames and praying for help, as she always did. The Patten side of the fence was totally burned, but on our side, it didn\’t even need a new coat of paint! When Pamela, Mary, Joy and Jennifer were not quite old enough to attend school, they came on their own to visit our home at lunch time every day where they were fed and cared for by our mother like they were her very own. There was not a single riddle the girls did not know. I bet those were some of the best “Redondo Memories” these Patten “sisters” of ours have among their favorite Redondo Memories. Henry Burke \’47 henry@vel.net

  3. The Patten Family Bobbie/Honey was a great friend to me and my family,we always had great conversations form local politics to the memories of old Redondo and the people of our town.She always made us welcomed and was extremly nice to Vanessa.I really can\’t express to you all how much we will miss her she\’ll always be in our hearts. The Bopp Family Steve,Katie,Vanessa,Thomas

  4. Mrs.Patten will always be a very special person in my life. I will always remember her kindness. She will never die in my heart. Jenny is my best friend Mrs.Patten will always be my best MOM. I will truly miss her. Susan

  5. My memories of Bobbie are of a sweet, smiling and friendly girl, whether in school (RUHS) or in the fabric shop where I talked and visited with her on many, many occasions. Her sweetness will definitely be missed. My condolences to all of her family.

  6. God presents us with many gifts in life, and one of those gifts was Bobbie Patten. She has enriched each of our lives. Now God has called her home. We will all miss her greatly. Love Jana, Ryan, Sophia

  7. Today is a day of sadness for us all. My heart aches for you, but through the memory and joy that you brought us all, you will live on for all eternity. You are my hero and insparation. We will miss you forever.

  8. This is the eulogy that my son John Long presented at Bobbie\’s funeral on Sept. 2, 2004. I wanted it to be a part of her memorial book for the family. How do you say goodbye to your best friend after 60 years of friendship? It is so difficult to think that I will no longer be able to pick up the phone and chat with her about everything and nothing. Our phone calls are legend-just ask our husbands. Hours would go by and they would ask us “Are you still talking to her”?. Our friendship has been a long distance one for the last 30 years, yet the bond that we shared was never broken. We could tell each other everything and anything–which we did adnauseam. All of you here today knew Bobbie and treasured your friendship with her. The old saying “She never met a stranger” fits her to a tee. She was sincerely interested in you and your family and wanted to help you in any way she could. Her beaming smile and warm welcome were her signature attributes. She adored her husband, Dale. He was everything to her. Her children, Wade, Pam, Mary, Joy and Jennie were the apples of her eye. She was so proud of them all. She was definitely a Mama Bear when it came to them. She was always there for them, comforting them in their sorrow and egging them on in any endeavor that they chose to pursue. She was one wonderful human being and I will miss her so very much. She revered, respected and loved her mother, Mary and her dad, Bob. They are and were two very special people giving love, encouragement and respect to their children, Bobbie, Katy, Shirley and Richard. She loved her brother and sisters so much. They were a very tight knit family–they were there for each other at all times. She is with her beloved Dad and Wade and Richard now as well as Grannie Northcott and they say that all dogs go to heaven, so I\’m sure that she has Molly with her as well. Now there was a dog!! I bet that they are having a wonderful reunion–all whole and healthy once again. You can rest assured that Bobbie is still seeing to the comfort and well being of all she sees there. She wouldn\’t know how to do anything else. So, I say farewell to you, Bobbie, my dearest friend. I love you. I\’ll miss you like crazy. Take care until we meet again. Love, Betty

  9. Dale, Pam, Mary, Joy and Jenny, I just wanted to let you all know that some of the fondest memories of my childhood are the days I spent with Bobbie, Shirley and my mom and all of you girls. I will never forget valet parking at Saks Fifth Avenue in the old station wagon. Jennifer and I would be lying down in the backseat horrified with embarrassment. But, Bobbie was very well known at Saks, Aida Grey as well as Bonwit Teller and the valet person(s) would always open her door and say “Good Afternoon, Miss Patten” it\’s good to see you again. Have a good day! I truly believe that if it weren\’t for your mother these were shopping sprees and lunches that I would have never had the luxury of experiencing. And I will never forget the lovely wedding shower that your mother and Jennifer had for me. Aunt Bobbie was the nicest lady you could every meet, just as everyone expressed at the funeral, in addition to being the best Aunt in the whole world and just the same she has raised four wonderful girls just like herself. I will miss my Aunt Bobbie very, very much and my heart goes out to all of you. Love Sheryl

  10. Dear Mom, Thank you for always making us feel warm, safe and loved. Thank you for rescuing us in times of need. Thank you for always knowing what to say to make us feel better. Thank you for encouraging us and believing in us. Thank you for the sacrifices that you made for us. Thank you for sharing your unconditional love and your life with us. Mom – we are a part of you and you are forever in our hearts. Love, Pam, Mary, Joy, Jenny

  11. Dear Dale, Pam, Mary, Jenny, and Joy, My fondest memory of Honey will always be of the trips to Lake Arrowhead. Though I am not a part of your family, Honey and the rest of the Patten crew never made me feel as if I were an outsider. Somehow, I weaseled my way into your family, and Bobbie allowed me to call her Honey, just like the rest of her grandchildren. Honey enjoyed cooking, especially rising early in the morning to the scent of bacon bits for her legendary biscuits and gravy. One trip, I vividly remember a jicama that was snuck up in a vehicle…when Honey was told there was no more room in the trunk, she somehow managed to sneak in a large jicama. No one would ever suspect the Mama Bear! In the end, we were glad to have the jicama, and Honey too. I am so glad to have known Mrs. Patten, for she shared wonderful insights with me; she was sincere in her thoughts, actions, and words, and a genuinely nice person, willing to lend a hand or some words of wisdom. Her charm, kind smile, and the twinkle in her eye will be sorely missed. I am relieved to know that she is no longer in pain, for hers was a long and arduous path, but her strength and perserverence, with the help of her family, allowed her to push on like the trooper she always was. She, and your family, are in my thoughts. My condolences, Vanessa Bopp

  12. Dear Florence Family, I was very sad to hear about the passing of Bobbie. Bobbie was my first boss, since Florence Fabrics was my first job. I barely knew what a grainline was when my Mom and I went to Florence Fabrics to buy some fabric for a High School sewing class. As we were leaving my Mom noticed a ‘help wanted’ sign and encouraged me to inquire. That is when I met Bobbie. When I asked about the job she had some preliminary questions of which I replied all, with a no. But, I must have had a smile on my face or some positive sign that I would make an adequate employee because she told me to come back in a few days for a more thorough interview. Fortunately, she hired me and I was able to have a great first boss (Bobbie) as well as work with a woman who loved her husband, her family, her job and fabric. That job at Florence Fabrics was important because I learned about fabric which would later help in my career in the garment industry. But, I also learned how to work with people, with the public at large and how a small business ran. I should state how a large family ran, because the lines between the Florence business and the Florence family were hard to determine. I liked being around that family, if only as an employee because it was such a great family. Bobbie was definitely a motherly figure and truly cared about the people she managed. She was also a good teacher on how to work with customers. Because Bobbie had grown up mostly in Redondo Beach she had great stories about the area and what it was like when her parents moved from Texas to California. She also had stories of the business and its early beginnings. Once I went to design school my schedule didn’t allow me to work, so I had to quit my job at Florence Fabrics. But, I was a loyal customer and enjoyed catching up with Bobbie on her family and the business when I came in. She always treated my like I was so important and special just because I had worked there, when in fact she was the special person. I am so glad Bobbie and the Florence family was a part of my life. I extend my sympathy to her Mother, siblings, children and grandchildren. Unfortunately, I heard that her husband Dale has also passed on very recently; I guess he could not live without her. May their memories be eternal. Warmest regards, Elaine Crossley

  13. My Dearest Friend: I have known you forever. You held a special place in my heart. All the good times we shared, all the sad times too. Life is always filled with the good and the sad times that friends share. Since Lucia Street was the only world we knew, the Florence house basement, the little street to play on, our world was simple and fun. As an only child, I loved the company of the Florence girls. What joy it was to have a boy (your brother, Richard) in our lives. My mother always had candy for him when he rode his tricycle to our house. What simple pleasures childhood brings to our memories. Once in a person’s life, a friend like you comes along, who will never be forgotten or replaced. You are a unique and wonderful friend. I will miss our conversations about our lives, our losses, and our dreams. Most of all, I will miss the laughs we shared. May you rest in peace. Lovingly, Pat Goolsby

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