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Dr. Robert J. Patterson, retired chief obstetrician at Children’s, Navy veteran

July 5, 1923 – July 30, 2016

Dr. Robert J. Patterson, retired chief of obstetrics at Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, died Saturday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after a short illness. He was 93.

Born in Corry, Pa., he moved to the Buffalo area at the age of 2 and was a 1941 graduate of Kenmore High School. Intending to become a forester, he attended the State College of Forestry at Syracuse for two years and served for three years as Navy aviator during World War II.

While serving in the Naval Reserve after the war, he decided to pursue a medical career and graduated in 1950 from the University of Buffalo Medical School. After completing his internship at Buffalo General Hospital, he returned to active duty in the Navy during the Korean War, this time as a flight surgeon.

Dr. Patterson came back to Buffalo General in 1954 as an assistant resident in obstetrics and gynecology and was chief resident in 1958 before starting a private practice. From 1961 to 1982, he was a partner in the obstetrical practice of Patterson, Dewey, Schulman and Foote.

In addition, he was senior cancer research surgeon at Roswell Park Cancer Institute from 1958 to 1961, then was obstetrical coordinator of the Child Development Program at Children’s Hospital from 1961 to 1965.

In 1971, he became acting chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Children’s Hospital and served as chief of OB-GYN from 1982 to 1993, when he retired.

He also was chief of OB-GYN at Erie County Medical Center and director of the OB-GYN clinic at the former Columbus Hospital.

In retirement, he worked with Hospice Buffalo for 10 years, where he served as chief of staff.

He also was a faculty member at the UB Medical School, trained hundreds of young doctors and received several honors as a teacher.

Dr. Patterson was a member of the Gibson Anatomical Society, Alpha Omega Alpha Honorary Medical Society and was a member of the executive council of the Buffalo Gynecologic and Obstetric Society. He also served on the boards of Hospice Buffalo and Planned Parenthood of Buffalo.

A master gardener, he also enjoyed bonsai and was an avid reader.

His wife of 61 years, the former Patricia Moore, died in 2010.

Survivors include five sons, Brian D., Bruce D., David M., John D. and Abraham Munabi; eight grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Orchard Park Presbyterian Church, 4369 South Buffalo St., Orchard Park.

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