He died Wednesday at 57. Everyone around here who knew him is pretty demolished. He leaves a wife and two young kids.
For years, Patton edited the Prince William Extra. With a background in small-town newspapering, he made sure it had all the small-town stuff in it (crime reports, school lunches, real estate) but he also really loved serious hard-hitting journalism. And he was good at editing it, fighting for space and getting it in the paper.
He grew up and lived in Arlington, a Yorktown High grad, so he cared about news in Northern Virginia. His last full-time job here was editing the Fairfax and Arlington-Alexandria Extras, and he worked out of our Fairfax bureau, typically with his feet on the desk. If his feet weren’t on the desk, something was wrong. He could edit that way. He could insult you that way. “Jackman, is that really your tie or are you officially colorblind?” was typical.
Patton took one of those infernal Post buy-outs a couple of years back, but returned to edit part-time. Adam Bernstein interviewed him for his own obituary, and wrote a terrific piece which is here. This is a lousy day.