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College News

Alumna Establishes Scholarship in Memory of Her Parents

June 13, 2006

Category: Academics, Alumni, Students


Jo Patterson Coble '52 of Concord and her children, Carolyn Coble Cline '75, Ann Coble Shaughnessy '78, and John "Wally" Coble, have established a scholarship at Catawba College to pay tribute to the memory of Coble's parents. The J. Lewis and Blanche B. Patterson Endowed Scholarship will be given to students with financial need who are residents of Cabarrus County.

Jo Coble, one of the Pattersons' three daughters, grew up on a farm in Cabarrus County. Her father, a grading contractor, operated Patterson Brothers and kept the farm going until 1972 when the business ceased operation. He then returned to farming full time.  Her mother, the former Blanche Barrier, grew up in the Rimertown community. She did not work outside the home, but instead focused on her share of the farm work and raising her three daughters.

"They both were great parents," Jo Coble explained. "My dad provided the resources, but my mom was there for us with support, encouragement and leadership and getting us to the right place at the right time."

The Pattersons were members of New Gilead United Church of Christ in Cabarrus County, the church where family members still attend. The Pattersons and their family helped establish the New Gilead Endowed Scholarship at Catawba College many years ago.

Jo Coble's older sister, Elizabeth Patterson Cook, and her late husband Clyde William Cook both attended Catawba. Also attending was her younger sister, Joyce Patterson Needham '54.

Jo Coble met her husband while a student at Catawba. Coble's husband John graduated from Catawba in 1952. He attended thanks to a football scholarship. John coached in Cabarrus County and later served as principal at Mt. Pleasant Elementary and High Schools and at Hartsell Middle School. He retired in 1982 after more than 30 years as an educator and died in 1993. The John D. Coble Training Room in the Abernethy Physical Education Center on campus is named for him. 

"I remember the financial struggle Johnny had," Jo Coble explained, remembering her husband's years at Catawba. "If he hadn't had a football scholarship he wouldn't have made it through college. There is such a need for scholarships for these students who wouldn't be there otherwise. This is my opportunity to give back to Catawba."

"Jo Coble continues to carry on the tradition of supporting Catawba that she and her late husband John established," said Catawba College Senior Vice President Tom Childress. "We are deeply grateful for alumna like her who recognizes how significant their support is to the life of our institution." Childress noted that in addition to establishing the scholarship, Jo Coble has also made gifts to endow the training room named for her late husband, and gifts to support the recent renovation and construction of Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field.

Jo Coble, like her husband, enjoyed a long career in education. She is retired after 29 years as a school teacher. She and her late husband had three children, two of whom are also Catawba College alumni – Carolyn Lee Coble Cline '75 of Concord, who with husband Keith has three children, and Ann Coble Shaughnessy '78 of Charlotte and husband Steve. Steve worked at Catawba from 1978-1983 as a football and baseball coach. The Cobles' son, John "Wally" Coble of Concord, has three children.