Born in Tacoma, Washington, to Daniel and Ruth Ashburn (nee-Erwin), Jean grew up in a deeply Christian home alongside her two sisters, Barbara and Rosemary, in Louviers, Colorado.
She excelled academically, graduating as the Valedictorian from Douglas County High School in Castle Rock, Colorado. Following her high school graduation, Jean attended Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas for two years. During this time, her spiritual journey took a significant turn, leading her to complete her last two years at The University of Colorado in Boulder, where she earned her Baccalaureate Degree in English Literature.
Post-college, Jean embarked on a teaching stint at The American School in Guatemala for two years. It was upon her return to Denver Seminary that she met her future husband, Richard Patterson. After a year of working in New York City and Richard completing his Theological Seminary training, they were married. After a year of teaching, Jean transitioned to Social Work with the Department of Welfare in upstate New York. Settling in Sayre, Pennsylvania, Richard pastored First Baptist Church, and Jean worked as a substitute teacher before dedicating the remainder of her working days to the Head Start Program as a Parent Advocate.
Following Richard's passing in 2000, Jean continued to lead an active life in Sayre, Pennsylvania remaining deeply involved with her church. In 2008, she relocated to Scotts Valley, California, to be closer to her grandchildren. There, she became an active member of Trinity Bible Church in Felton, maintaining her steadfast relationship with Christ.
A collector of curios and sea shells, Jean embraced a love for camping and cherished all God's creatures, particularly birds, dogs, and cats. She was an avid reader of Christian literature, a talented singer, and enjoyed creating music with her husband and children. Jean loved her annual summer visits to Sarasota, Florida, and the month-long July family camping trip to the Adirondack region of Upstate New York.
Jean expertly balanced the roles of homemaker, mother, pastor’s wife, part-time school teacher, and parent advocate. In each of her roles, she cultivated lasting relationships with fellow teachers, students, parents, and parishioners, maintaining lifelong friendships and connections.
In her later years, dementia took hold of Jean's life. Despite needing assistance with day-to-day activities, she continued to exhibit a joyful and tender personality. In her final days, Jean moved into the home of her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren, passing away peacefully surrounded by the love of her children, and grandchildren. Jean was preceded in death by her parents, her husband the Reverend Richard Patterson, and her sister Rosemary. She is survived by her daughter Cheryl Bartee (nee Patterson), son-in-law Dr. Robert Bartee, and grandchildren Sofia and Aria Bartee of Aptos, California. She is also survived by her sons Jeffrey Patterson of Aptos, California, and Stephen Patterson of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, as well as her sister Barbara Anderson (nee-Ashburn) of Memphis, Tennessee, and several nieces and nephews.
The family is deeply grateful for the medical care provided by Thanh Vu, M.D., and the spiritual comfort provided to Jean and her family by the Reverend James Lapp of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church.
A private family memorial will be arranged. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Jean’s name to Hospice of Santa Cruz County.