ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rockford community is mourning the loss of a man who touched so many lives.
Glenn Patterson, a former teacher and Boys & Girls Club leader, died this past weekend. Member of the Boys and Girls Club said that what they will remember most about him was his passion.
While he was the director of the Blackhawk Center for only two years, his dedication was to fulfilling a lifetime mission of helping kids.
“Glenn meant so much to the Boys & Girls Club, and Boys & Girls Club meant so much to him,” said Chip Stoner, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Rockford.
Stoner reminisced about longtime teacher Patterson. He said that Patterson passed while preparing to watch a Packers game on his couch. He lost consciousness and never regained it.
The Blackhawk Boys & Girls Club shared their condolences on Facebook the next day, writing that “Glenn was a Boys & Girls Club member growing up and returned to play an integral role as director.”
“He grew up here at the Blackhawk Housing Development, and he and his family joined the Boy’s Club,” Stoner said. “Then as a young child, and he felt the Boy’s Club is why he went on to have a successful career as an educator, and his goal was to give back.”
A graduate of East High, Patterson felt that education was key. He believed that if a person did well in school, they will do well in life. Stoner said that Patterson was an educator for the majority of his career, teaching at East and a variety of other schools.
“That’s what made him special here, is he worked with the schools closely,” Stoner said. “Constance Lane, Lincoln, and East.”
Stoner said that Patterson had a way of connecting with youth, which was evident when people became aware of his passing. Many wrote heartfelt messages expressing the difference that he made in their lives.
“I think with Glenn’s passing, you saw this tremendous outpouring of love and support, and I don’t think we’re aware of how many people he touched and how many kids he influenced, whether it was while he was a teacher, whether it was while he was a coach,” Stoner said. “Glenn has touched so many people in this community and he was a special man, and he will be deeply missed.”
There is a celebration of life candlelight vigil this Friday from 4-6 p.m. at the Blackhawk Boys & Girls Club, 330 15th Ave. Patterson’s visitation and funeral services will be held next week.