Dr. James E. Patti passed peacefully at home surrounded in love and care by his daughter and son. Jim was born in Hornell, NY to Carmelo and Mary Ellen Patti. He was an exceptional athlete all his life and attended Niagara University playing both basketball and golf. He finished dental school at Georgetown University and did his internship at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He then served as Chief of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery as a Captain in the US Air Force from 1966 - 1968 at Warner Robbins Air Force Base finishing his residency at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He had numerous professional honors and was a member of many professional societies. He was past president of Forsyth Country Club and a member of many boards of directors in Winston-Salem, NC. During his retirement, Jim volunteered as a resident oral surgeon for many years at the Volunteers in Medicine Hilton Head Dental Clinic.
He met the love of his life Lynne in Washington D.C. in 1964. Their son Chris was born in 1965 and their daughter Laura soon followed in 1966. They had a wonderful life in Winston-Salem for over 30 years where he established and built a successful private practice. Fondly known by many as ‘Painless Patti’, Jim retired to Colleton River Plantation in Bluffton, SC in 2003, and eventually moved to Callawassie Island in Okatie, SC in 2017.
If his family was his love, golf was his passion. From his first caddy days at Hornell Golf Club, Jim had a special talent and competitive spirit to both play the game and also be a pleasure to play alongside. His amateur golf accomplishments were extraordinary. Blessed with a superb short game, he was a 9-time club champion at Forsyth Country Club and was a qualifier for the USGA Mid-Amateur at Crooked Stick in 1989. The ’90s saw him qualify for the USGA Senior Open twice, in ’91 at Oakland Hills earning the low amateur status tying the record for the low round as an amateur and qualifying him for The British Amateur Championship at Carnoustie, and in ’94 at Pinehurst CC #2 course. He was low amateur in the CPGA Sandhills Open, the Porter Cup Senior Champion at Niagara Falls CC in ‘91, low amateur in Western NC Open in ’92, low amateur of the CPGA Senior Sandhills Open in ’94, qualified for the USGA Senior Amateur twice in Skokie CC in ’98 and Charlotte CC in 2000. He was Club Champion at Colleton River CC in 2003. Jim had 11 holes-in-ones and together with his partners won many esteemed four-ball tournaments. He was a devoted member of the Society of Seniors.
Of the many talents he had in his social, professional, and sports lives, he was above all a selfless and devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He cherished the accomplishments of his grandchildren perhaps most of all. With Lynn, his wife of 53 years, and his children, he had many adventures traveling the world especially in Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and Costa Rica. Jim never knew a stranger. He had a tremendous sense of curiosity, optimism, and humor, and was loved and respected by those who knew him. Always well dressed and blessed with casual elegance, humor and grace, Jim loved people and was loved by many.
Jim was born and raised a Roman Catholic and attended Mass every week at St Leo the Great in Winston-Salem and eventually at St Gregory the Great in Bluffton. His strong and quiet faith was an inspiration to his family and friends and was represented in everything he did. Jim was a Cursillista and a member of the Knights of Columbus.
He is preceded in death by his wife Lynne, father Carmelo, his mother Mary Ellen Rosie, his step-mother Mary Elizabeth Loree, his sister Camille D’Angelo, and brother-in-law, The Honorable Thomas W. Higgins Jr.
Jim is survived by his two children Laura and Chris; his six grandchildren Gabriella, Aubrey, Anthony, Ethan, Evan, and Emelie; his daughter-in-law Linda and son-in-law Tony; his sisters Jo Ann Argentieri (Richard), and Anne Marie Higgins; his brothers Phil Patti (Polly) and Bill Patti (Lorraine), his brother-in-law Charles D’Angelo, and his constant companion Leo.
A private celebration of his life will be held by the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to Volunteers in Medicine, St. Gregory the Great , or a charity of your choice.
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