Euradell “Dell” Logan-Patterson, who achieved acclaim for years as a dedicated, faithful, educational, community, and faith-based volunteer in Oakland and Berkeley, passed away on Dec. 26, 2020, at home in the care of her husband William “Bill” Patterson.
“Dell,” as she was affectionately referred to by her friends, was born Sept. 26, 1938, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Her parents, Ernestine Dunlap and Euell Kenneth Logan were married in 1937. They moved from Seminole, OK to Oklahoma City where “Dell” was born.
In 1941, her family moved to West Oakland where Kenneth Logan served briefly in the U.S Navy and then Dell’s family settled in Berkeley.
After graduating from Berkeley High School, she enrolled at San Jose State University before transferring to and graduating from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Education along with her Teaching Credential.
She also earned a Master’s Degree equivalence from UC Berkeley and a Reading Specialist Credential from Holy Names University.
While pursuing her academic studies she gained valuable experience working with youth and the community as a playground leader in the City of Oakland’s Parks and Recreation Department from 1958 to 1961.
Because of her knowledge of art, music, piano playing, and her skill at organizing workflow she attracted the attention of William “Bill” Patterson, and they were married on Aug. 3, 1961.
She began her teaching career in 1962 under the supervision of Benjamin Hargrave, the principal of Golden Gate Elementary School. Her teaching career spanned more than three decades while teaching at Washington, Franklin, Lakeview, Manzanita, and Sherman Elementary schools, and served as a Teacher of Special Assignment (TSA) for Reading and Language Arts.
Before she retired in 1998 and due to her incredible organizational and time-management skills, she found the time to volunteer as an organization specialist with the Oakland NAACP, Oakland Black Caucus, the Shiloh Christian Fellowship College and its international missionary programs, prison ministry, and many other community-based organizations.
Her training skills, honed from being a Master Teacher, helped launch Shiloh’s Christian College and community outreach programs.
She and her husband were mainstays and part of the organizing backbone of many Black community organizations and civil rights activities.
Known for her quiet, pleasant demeanor and her ability to make everyone she encountered feel that “everyone counted with her, but none too much,” was the main reason she was able to make her home a welcome place to host many of Oakland’s Black leaders.
She and Bill hosted organizing and planning meetings for Oakland’s first Black mayor, the late Lionel Wilson along with the effort to install a statue for the late Judge Donald P. McCullum at the Ronald Dellums Federal Building in Oakland.
The Rev. Dr. Martha C. Taylor of Allen Temple Baptist Church was mentored by Dell. She reflected on when Dell was recreation leader at Brookfield Recreation Center in East Oakland.
Taylor recalled how Dell specialized in helping teenaged girls at becoming “lady-like.” She was an encourager, who told all of us we could be anything we wanted to be.
“Dell always had a smile on her face. I remember thinking, I want to be just like her when I grow up. She had a gentle, kind, mothering spirit and did not hesitate to correct us. I have often told Mr. William “Bill” Patterson, that both of them, shaped and molded so many of us to strive for goodness and greatness. Her mentoring taught me how to mentor others. Dell Patterson has left a sweet lingering spirit,” said Taylor.
Dell is survived by her husband of 59 years, William B. Patterson, her son William David Patterson and a host of family and friends.
A memorial service will be announced after the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.