Marysville Mayor John Gore called her the force behind the city. Marysville City Council President Nevin Taylor dubbed her the lady of the city. Those who knew Clerk of Council Connie Patterson all say the same thing: She was classy, professional, cheerful, courteous.
Patterson, 64, died Sunday, July 20, at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus after a brief battle with liver cancer. She had held the clerk's job since 2000.
City Law Director Tim Aslaner said Patterson started shortly after he began his part-time position with the city. Over the years, they worked closely together in drafting language and researching issues that arose from time to time.
"The first impression was the lasting impression I had of her. She was very courteous, very professional, very even-keeled, always pleasant and had a smile on her face," Aslaner said. "Whenever there was tension, she was above the fray. That's how she remained."
Gore described her as one of the city's best servants.
"She kept me on track when I was president of council. She did whatever it would take to provide the best service to this community," he said. "She really enjoyed her job. She enjoyed people. It didn't really matter what was going on. She always answered the phone the same way. She always answered with a cheerful voice."
"Connie was the nucleus of the council; she was the center of it. It didn't matter if you were a rookie or someone who had been here for years. Same respect, same professionalism, more importantly, same friendliness," Taylor said. "If you want to pattern a good worker at work, take Connie on a bad day. If you want to pattern a great worker, take Connie every day."
Patterson told Taylor and Gore about her diagnosis this spring.
"She was very optimistic. She felt she was going to beat this and we all hoped and prayed that she would," Gore said.
"When she was feeling sick, you as John Q. Public would come in and wouldn't know there was a thing wrong with her. If it started to show, she was the first one to say, 'I need to go home,' " Taylor said. "That probably wasn't until the last month."
Gore said Patterson and public information officer Anna Krutowskis have been the two people who make things "go" in Marysville.
Krutowskis looked to Patterson as a mentor.
"What I was most impressed by with Connie was her professionalism. Her demeanor, the way she dressed, the way she communicated. She was extremely organized. She was loyal. I saw that in her. She was trustworthy," Krutowskis said.
And if the two were just talking about life, it was Patterson's granddaughter who made her light up.
"She would smile and talk and talk and talk," Krutowskis said.
Patterson and her husband, Donald, would have celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary Aug. 1. In addition to Donald, she is survived by her daughters Rachel (Larry) Stover and Becky Patterson, both of Marysville; a granddaughter, Kendal; twin sister and best friend, Cathy (Denny) Barnes of Medina; brothers, Mike (Marilyn) Lucas of Crestline and Mark (Marlene) Lucas of Upper Sandusky; and many nieces and nephews.
A service was held Thursday, July 24, at Ingram Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to Loving Care Hospice or the Union County Humane Society in care of the funeral home.
"She was a joy to work with, a joy to be around. If she needed something from me, I made sure I got it done," Aslaner said.
"Even though she was not an elected person, she was probably the best representative we've had," Taylor said.
"I'm not only going to miss her as a clerk of council and co-worker, but she was a darn good friend," Gore said. "Connie was a real good friend."