T.J. Patterson impacted inmates in the Lubbock County Detention Center

Former city councilman died at 85
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 11:00 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - From 1984 to 2004 T.J. Patterson was a councilman for District 2. Even after, he never stopped serving the Lubbock community. Starting in 1989, he provided some Christmas spirit for inmates in the Lubbock County Detention Center.

“Made that a tradition to go out, you know, every Christmas Day, and go out there and talk and visit with those folks,” Lubbock county sheriff, Kelly Rowe, said. “And you know, the important thing was, he was out there trying to make a change in their life.”

Sheriff Rowe says Patterson would talk and pray with inmates, hoping to change their path.

“Make some different decisions in life and get, you know, get to where you’re not headed down this road all the time,” Sheriff Rowe said.

In a previous interview, Patterson said these people deserved someone to be there for them.

“These are God’s people, they’re young people who made alleged mistakes. They need to be encouraged,” TJ Patterson told KCBD in 2013.

TJ Patterson talking to an inmate on Christmas.
TJ Patterson talking to an inmate on Christmas.(KCBD)

Sheriff Rowe says Patterson touched a lot of lives, but visiting the jail was also an important part of his December 25.

“You wanna talk about breaking a mans heart when he did have some issues with health, and you know it was going to be difficult, or he could not make it,” Sheriff Rowe said. “I mean you just knew it was, it was tearing him up.”

On top of encouraging inmates, Patterson worked with Sheriff Rowe and the Lubbock Police Department to impact lives beyond the jail.

“Try to get recruiting improved and, you know, keep a positive relationship between the law enforcement, and you know, some of those areas where we have our highest crime,” Sheriff Rowe said.

Patterson did all of this for one main goal.

“What his goal always was, was to you know, to make, you know, make Lubbock a better place,” Sheriff Rowe said.

Sheriff Rowe says Lubbock will be mourning Patterson for a long time.

TJ Patterson was 85.