Frank Alfred Patten passed away peacefully \nsurrounded by his loved ones on Sunday, February \n19th, 2023 after a brief battle with leukemia.\n He was born on November \n23, 1940 in Butler, Pennsylvania and lived there \nuntil he graduated from high school. He studied at \nthe Indiana Technical College in Fort Wayne, Indiana \nfrom 1959-1961, then attended Spartan School of \nAeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma from 1962-1964.\nFrank spent his entire adult \nlife mastering the art of flying. He began to fly \nwith his Uncle George when he was only 16 and \nstarted his formal flying education in 1959 at the \nage of 18 in Thompson, Pennsylvania. His first solo \nflight was on November 1959 in Fort Wayne, Indiana \nwhere he earned his private pilot's license in 1961. \nFrank earned his commercial pilot certificate and \nbecame an FAA certified flight instructor in 1962 at \nSpartan. He also earned his multi-engine rating, his \ninstrument airplane rating and the rating to teach \ninstruments while at Spartan.\nIn January 1967, Frank \nobtained a job with Ross Aviation at Ft. Rucker, \nAlabama as a civilian contractor and started \ntraining military students in February 1967. Frank \nserved in the Alabama Army National Guard from 1974 \nto 1998. He received the first direct appointment as \na Warrant Officer. During his time in the Guard, he \nearned the qualifications to fly the U-8 Seminole, \nC-7 Caribou, and the C-23 Sherpa. He completed the \nRotary Wing Course in the UH-1H Huey and the Bell \nOH-58 Kiowa and transitioned to teaching rotary wing \ninstrument flying in 1980. He was deployed with the \nGuard every summer for 2 weeks in Korea. Frank was \ntype-rated and flew every aircraft that the Alabama \nNational Guard had. He graduated from the instrument \nFlight Examiners Course in 1984 and obtained the \nhighest pilot certificate when he earned the Airline \nTransport Pilot (ATP) certificate in 1990. \n\nFrank \nreally enjoyed training the next generation of U.S. \nArmy helicopter pilots and took many of them and \ntheir spouses out to dinner following their \ngraduation. He kept in touch with some of his \nstudents and was loved and respected by all of them. \nOn November 6, 2015, Frank was awarded the Wright \nBrothers Master Pilot Award that recognizes pilots \nwho have practiced safe flight operations \ncontinuously for 50 or more years during the course \nof their aviation careers. He retired on January 22, \n2021 at the age of 80. He had accumulated over \n30,000 flying hours during his lifetime.\nFrank was also well-known for \nhis story-telling abilities. He loved to reminisce \nabout his childhood and his flying adventures.\n\nFrank is \npreceded in death by his father, John Alfred Patten; \nhis mother, Esther McChesney Patten; his Uncle \nGeorge McChesney; his wife of 38 years, Teresa Anne \nPatten, and his son-in-law and best friend Ricky \nPerkins. Frank is survived by a son, John Alfred \nPatten (Rhonda) and a daughter, Christine Anne \nPatten Wingate (Barry), a grandson, Steve Cody \nPerkins (Brooke), two granddaughters Anna Claire and \nAbigail Patten and three great-grandchildren Eli, \nBlakely, and Jackson Perkins. Frank was a devoted \nand loving husband to Teresa who died of Cancer in \n2001. Following her death, he met Judy Harbaugh \nIshee whose husband had passed in 1998. Frank and \nJudy were married in Trinity Episcopal Church in \nMobile, Alabama in June 2003. \nFrank was a \nMason and a member of Sons of the American \nRevolution, The American Legion, and the Knights \nTemplar. He loved to hunt, swim, fish, and drive his \nboat.\nA Celebration of Life Service \nwill be held at 10:00 on Saturday, March 11th, 2023 \nat The Mission Anglican Church, 600 N Alcaniz St, \nPensacola, Florida.