Samuel H. Patterson, Black & Decker executive

Samuel H. Patterson, former director of recruitment and placement at Black & Decker Corp. who also enjoyed farming, died Nov. 7 of congestive heart failure at Gilchrist Hospice in Towson.

He was 93 and lived at Oak Crest Village in Parkville.

The son of an educator and a former C&P; Telephone Co. switchboard operator, Samuel Henson Patterson was born on the family farm in Gamber, Carroll County. After the family lost the farm during the Depression, they moved to a home near Clifton Park.

After graduating from Polytechnic Institute in 1937, he worked at the old Glenn Martin Co. plant in Middle River as a riveter, eventually becoming a supervisor.

Drafted into the Navy in 1944, Mr. Patterson was trained to maintain and service aircraft autopilots. At the end of the war, he returned to the Martin Co., where he was a supervisor and employee trainer.

He entered the University of Maryland in 1947, where he studied on the GI Bill.

"While attending college, he supplemented the family's income by selling Electrolux vacuum cleaners door-to-door," said his son, Samuel H. Patterson Jr. of Falmouth, Mass.

After graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in education in 1950 from College Park, he taught wood shop at Richard Montgomery High School from 1950 to 1952.

While working full time as an industrial education instructor, he earned his master's degree in education in 1953 from the University of Maryland.

Mr. Patterson went to work for Black & Decker in 1953 as the company's sales training director, a position he held until being named personnel director.

From 1956 to 1976, he taught a course in industrial management at the Johns Hopkins University's McCoy College.

At the time of his retirement in 1981, Mr. Patterson was recruitment and placement director.

"Sam hired me when I came out of the Army in 1973 and gave me my first personnel job," said Brian L. King, who later became personnel director for the old First National Bank.

"He was a role model for human resource management. He had a very fair and open-minded approach to any employee issue," said Mr. King, who lives in Jarrettsville. "He would basically think through people situations, which tend to be fairly complicated, and try to arrive at a fair outcome."

He said that Mr. Patterson, who remained a lifelong close friend, was "well-respected by both management and employees which ranged from the sales force to plant personnel."

His professional memberships included the Maryland Society of Training Directors.

In 1959, Mr. Patterson purchased a 96-acre farm in Hereford, which included a barn, chicken house, garages, a toolshed and a three-story Victorian house.

"Over the years, the family raised chickens, steers, pigs, horses and two donkeys, not to mention cats and dogs," his son said.

"He was a farmer at heart," his son said. "While not a farmer by profession, he chose to live on or near farms for most of his life. He was an avid gardener, and generously shared the vegetables and fruits that he grew."

Mr. Patterson installed a wood-fired boiler on the farm — which included 60 acres of timberland — during the oil crisis of the early 1970s.

"He cut and split wood to heat the uninsulated 14-room farmhouse, and he continued to do this until he was in his mid-70s," his son said.

Mr. Patterson, whose farm had a long hill that led to a stream that crisscrossed the property, couldn't wait until the first snow so he could go sledding with his children and grandchildren, family members said.

A physically active person throughout his life, Mr. Patterson learned to ski in his 50s and was 80 when he learned to play golf. He also enjoyed boccie, shuffleboard and pinochle.

Mr. Patterson had also been involved in his community and had been president of the PTA at Sparks Elementary and then Hereford High School. He had been committee chairman of Boy Scout Troop 485 and an adult 4-H leader.

Since 1996, Mr. Patterson and his wife of 41 years, the former Dorothy Fox Grabill, had lived at Oak Crest Village, where he had served two nonconsecutive, two-year terms as a member of the Resident Advisory Council.

He was a member for nearly 60 years of Epworth Methodist Church, where he had been a choir member for 59 years and served on the church's board of trustees. He had been chairman of the building committee, worked in the thrift shop and was a member of its Habitat for Humanity committee that restored houses for the needy.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in the chapel at Oak Crest Village, 8800 Walther Blvd.

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Patterson is survived by two daughters, Susan Erickson of Parkton and Janet Minor of Atlanta; a stepson, Stanley Grabill of Chesapeake, Va.; a stepdaughter, Katherine Hupfeldt of Phoenix, Baltimore County; 10 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. An earlier marriage to the former Katharin Harms ended in divorce.

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