Baker Pattillo

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  • "I would like to pray for strength and comfort for this..."
    - Tammy Wall
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    - Arlene and Ray Todd
  • "We will truly miss our dear friend."
    - Charles & Emmie Smith
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    - Amy Maurer
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    - Sandra McCune
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Service Information
Cason Monk-Metcalf Funeral Directors
5400 North Street
Nacogdoches, TX

Visitation for Stephen F. Austin State University President Baker Pattillo, 75, will be from 5:00-7:00, Thursday, January 3, in the Twilight Ballroom of the Baker Pattillo Student Center on Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

Funeral services for Stephen F. Austin State University President Baker Pattillo, 75, of Nacogdoches are scheduled for 11:00, Friday, January 4, 2019, in the Grand Ballroom in the Baker Pattillo Student Center on Stephen F. Austin State University campus, with Dr. Jeff McDonald and Rev. Steven Newton presiding. Interment will be in Mason Cemetery in Arp, Texas, under the direction of Cason-Monk Funeral Home of Nacogdoches.

Dr. Pattillo died Saturday, at home in the Juanita Curry-Boynton House in Nacogdoches, Texas. He was preceded in death by his sister Carolyn Louise Pattillo, 1966, his father, Rev. Leroy Pattillo in 2003, and his mother Mauree Pattillo, 2005. He was born in Camden, Texas, June 22, 1943. When his family moved to Arp, Texas in 1956, he quickly became a loyal Arp Tiger. He had a very strong work ethic. He mowed yards and later worked for Baker Tank Company.

When he was fifteen, he began sitting at church near his future wife, Janice. This quickly began a long courtship through high school and college.

In high school he lettered in football for three years, served his Tiger team at Arp High school as co-captain, earned All-District and All-East Texas honors, served on the school newspaper staff, and classmates elected him "most likely to succeed." Later, Baker was honored for lifetime achievement by being named to the Arp High School Wall of Fame.

Baker attended Tyler Junior College then transferred to SFA in 1963 to study English and history, earning a bachelor's degree in 1965 and a master's degree in guidance and counseling in 1966. During summers he continued to mow yards, bale hay, and set tanks for Baker Tank Company. Often he would drive to Arp in his 1954 Ford, mow two or three yards, then return to Nacogdoches for classes the next day. He earned his Ph.D. in educational administration in 1971 from Texas A&M University.

Baker and Janice married on December 17, 1966, after Janice graduated from Baylor, and Baker earned his master's degree from SFA. They were happily married for 52 years. The fall of 1966 was Baker's first year to work at SFA. Including his student years, he was a part of SFA for 55 years.

Baker's involvement with SFA began when Dr. Ralph W. Steen delivered the commencement address at Arp High School in 1961, and the two developed a special bond soon afterward. In 1966 Dr. Ralph W. Steen named Baker Assistant Director of Placement and Financial Aid; he became Director of Placement and Financial Aid in 1970 and advanced to Dean of Student Services in 1972. Dr. William R. Johnson named Baker Vice President for Student Affairs in 1979 and later changed the title to Vice President for University Affairs. He became Interim President of the university in July 2006. Regents removed the "Interim" part of his title January 2007 and also affixed his name to the Baker Pattillo Student Center on April 24, 2007.

During his eleven plus years as President of SFA, Baker guided over $425 million in campus projects, including the Student Recreation Center, three residential buildings, three parking garages, a nursing building, an early childhood building, the STEM building, new entry signs, a Student Success Center, and recently during his last working day as President, saw the approval of construction and renovation for four new buildings.

A major goal of his was to reach 13,000 in enrollment. This year the university achieved a record enrollment of 13,144. He was recognized for his many achievements by receiving the 2011 Citizen of the Year by the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce and the 2017 Silver Bucket Award by the Texas Forest Country Partnership. During his many years at SFA he enjoyed working and developing close relationships with SFA students, regents, faculty and staff as well as leaders at the state and national level.

Survivors include his wife, Janice Anderson Pattillo, daughter Paige Pattillo Brown, son-in-law Todd Alan Brown, and grandson Jackson Baker Brown.
Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on Jan. 2, 2019
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