ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Glenn Patterson built a name for himself as an educator and mentor to kids across the City of Rockford.
He recently died after suffering a heart attack in his home. People gathered on Tuesday to say their goodbyes. Clint Patterson, Glenn’s son, said that they wore the same shoe size, but they are still big shoes to fill.
There is no replacing his dad, but they will keep his spirit and legacy alive, according to Patterson.
“As a kid, a lot of things don’t make sense to you, but he had a way of making you see it,” Patterson said.
The community knew him as Glenn Patterson, but to Clint, he was just dad. He remembered the Waterfront Festival as one of his favorite memories with his dad growing up.
“My dad, he had so many contacts and good relationships in community,” Patterson said. “He could hardly walk 20 feet at the waterfront without stopping, ‘hey, how you doing? ‘oh, you were my gym teacher, you were my administrator, you were a counselor for me.'”
Patterson said that his dad was good at engaging with youth and guiding them in a positive way. He saw this first-hand.
“He’d be running across town to different kids’ basketball games, baseball games, football games. If you were a student of his, he came and showed love. He was always there for support,” Patterson said. “No matter where he went, he was always the loudest in the crowd, which sometimes could be embarrassing until you learn to love it. Then when you don’t hear it, then you’re like ‘okay, where’s Glenn at, where’s my dad at?’”
Glenn’s passing created a void in many lives. To be able to see people care the same way Glenn cared about the community is heartwarming to Patterson.
“My dad’s put out so much love in the world, and it’s just nice to see that love come back around,” Patterson said. “It can never replace him, but I think that’s just proof of the impact that he had in the community.”
Glenn was 67 years old. Clint is the youngest of four children that he left behind.