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Anna Mae Patton

Anna Mae (Sladek) Patton was the youngest of four children born to Joseph C. and Christina L. (Chalupnik) Sladek.  She was born May 9, 1935 at Galloway Hospital in Anthony, Kansas.  She was named Anna after her grandmother Anna Prochaska Sladek and Mae because she was born in the month of May.  The family lived on a farm west of Renfrow, Oklahoma. She attended District 30 (Pleasant View) a one room rural school through the fifth grade.  She often walked three and a half miles to school.  One year, her father bought her a Shetland Pony to ride to school, but being a stubborn pony and an inexperienced horse person, that lasted only till the pony came home one evening minus a rider.  The pony would not cross a bridge so Anna Mae got off to lead the pony across and it ran off leaving her to walk home.  The school closed at the end of her fifth grade because of the lack of students.  There were only five students the last year.


While living on the farm she was a busy girl.  She would get the cows from the pasture and help her mother milk the cows.  They often milked seventeen cows all by hand.  It was her job to gather eggs and feed the chickens.  In the spring there were always several hundred baby chicks ordered from the local hatchery.


The family moved to Medford after the school closed.  The first of the school year Anna Mae and her sister, Christine, who worked in town, lived in a rented room at a neighbor’s home.  Finally, the house that the family bought had been remodeled and the family moved in.  Anna Mae graduated from Medford High School with the class of 1953.


After graduation Anna Mae attended business college in Wichita.  She got a job working in the accounts payable department of Boeing Aircraft Company.  She worked there a little more than a year.


While she was in high school, she met Don Patton at a dance at one of the local halls west of Caldwell.  They had a few dates and went their separate ways.  While she was living in Wichita she came home one weekend.  She went to a dance with her family.  There was this boy again, (Don), who she knew kept asking for a date which she wanted no part of.  Running out of excuses for not going on a date, she asked her sister how to get rid of him.  Her sister asked her, “Is he a nice guy?”  Anna Mae replied she just wasn’t interested but yes, he was nice.  The advice she got was to make the date and he will leave you alone, then you don’t have to make another date.  But something happened and the time to refuse another date never came and on May 14, 1955 she married Don Patton at the First Christian Church in Medford.  She transferred her membership to Central Christian in Caldwell where she was an active member.


Anna Mae  was a busy homemaker.  The mother of twins, Donald and Donna and then Dennis.  As the children grew, she became involved in their activities.  She was a home room mother, a Brownie leader, 4-H Foods leader and Community leader for their 4-H club.  After the children were in college, she served on the County Extension Board where she served as secretary.  She served the Sumner County Fair Board as Superintendent of the Domestic Science Department. She worked over thirty years with the fair association.


After the children were grown, she became Don’s helper - feeding cattle, hauling wheat during harvest, helping work ground and whatever else was to be done.  She and Don were almost always together.


The couple loved to square dance and traveled a lot to different dances.  Some of these were very large dances, like the Oklahoma State Square Dance Festival  She sewed many of her dance dresses and shirts for Don.

On Wednesday, April 3, 2024, Anna Mae passed away peacefully in Caldwell, Kansas.


She was preceded in death by her husband Don of 62 years, son, Dennis, her parents, Joseph and Christina Sladek, a brother who died in infancy, sister, Christine Cox, and brother Wesley Sladek.


She is survived by her children Donald and Debbie Patton of Reading, KS, Donna and Roger Basinger of Hutchinson, KS, and Laura Patton of Overland Park, KS.  She was blessed with 6 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 8, 2024 at the Central Christian Church with Dr. Dan Price officiating. Interment will follow at the Caldwell City Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Victory in the Valley or to the Caldwell Regional Health Foundation and sent in care of the mortuary.

Visitation will be held 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday & Saturday and 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Sunday.



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