In Memory

Kathy Patterson (Harrel)

Kathy Jean Harrel was born April 28, 1954, in Union Town, Pennsylvania to H.S. Patterson and Jeanne Caldwell-Patterson. Kathy grew up on Long Island, New York. She moved to Oklahoma in 1967, when her father was transferred to work for City Service Oil Company. She graduated from Broken Arrow High School with the Class of 1970. She attended college for four years and on March 1, 1988; she graduated from the Tulsa Police Academy and began her career as CSO for the Tulsa Police Department. She spent the next 22½ years as a Police officer. 1988 was also the year she moved to Sapulpa where she lived life to the fullest. She loved her cats and was a muscle car enthusiast. Kathy is survived by her loving daughter, Vanessa McFadden of Broken Arrow; her grandson, Jake Huddleston; a nephew, Jason Patterson and a brother, Thomas Richard Patterson. Service will be held 2:00 PM, Monday, October 4, 2010, at The Downtown Church of Christ in Bixby with Entombment to follow at Green Hill Memorial Mausoleum in Sapulpa. Visitation will be held throughout the weekend at the funeral home. Donations are requested for the SPCA. The family has chosen to entrust the care of the service to the directors at Green Hill Funeral Home.
(Tulsa World)

Petite officer made big impact

The 22-year Tulsa police veteran had a presence and personality much larger than her stature.

Looking right past the badge to the 5-foot-2-inch, 100-pound frame backing it up, the bad guys who faced off with Kathy Harrel were usually quick to draw the wrong conclusion. "I've seen them size her up and think they were going to get by pretty easy," said Sgt. Chris Witt, a close colleague of Harrel's at the Tulsa Police Department. But Kathy was good at - first of all - telling you how things were going to work. And then, if necessary, she could show you. She was not one to shy away from the physical if it came to that." A patrol officer for most of her career at the Police Department's Mingo Valley Division, formerly called Uniform Division East, Harrel had a presence and personality that were much larger than her stature, colleagues say. And the freedom that came with patrolling gave her plenty of opportunities to share them. "Kathy wanted to be out in the community with people," Witt said. "She had a real compassion for children and crime victims, and so she never wanted to sit behind a desk. She loved the streets." A 22-year Tulsa Police Department veteran, Kathy Jean Harrel died Wednesday at St. Francis Hospital of complications from brain cancer. She was 56. A funeral service is set for 2 p.m. Monday at Downtown Church of Christ in Bixby. The Police Department will provide an escort and help organize the service. Visitations are scheduled for 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Green Hill Funeral Home in Sapulpa. With her verbal skills and lively personality, Harrel could often calm troubled situations just by talking, colleagues say. But when action was called for, Harrel, whose third-degree black belt in karate won her many trophies, was ready. "She might get thrown around a bit, but she'd jump right back up," said Witt, who was Harrel's supervisor at one time. "Kathy was a firecracker. I've seen her jump on someone's back to help her fellow officers get control in a physical confrontation." A Sapulpa resident for the last several years, Harrel grew up in Long Island, N.Y. Moving to Oklahoma as a teenager when her father was transferred, she graduated from Broken Arrow High School and went to work for Cities Service Oil Co. Harrel, who was married to a Tulsa police officer at the time, later decided that she wanted to join the force herself. She graduated from the Tulsa Police Academy in 1988. Harrel's only child, Vanessa McFadden, said she sometimes worried about her mother. "She would talk about bad calls, about drug busts and things," she said. "But I knew she could take care of herself. I never doubted that. And growing up in a police family, you accept the danger." Besides patrolling, Harrel worked for a while with the Mingo Valley Division's Street Crimes Unit. Out of uniform, she enjoyed muscle cars. She owned a series of classic Ford Mustangs over the years and took them to shows and competitions. Harrel was diagnosed with brain cancer just six weeks ago, McFadden said. She said her mother was matter-of-fact about the bad news and, although the prognosis was grim, she was determined to beat the odds. "That's who she was. She was always a fighter," McFadden said. Harrel also is survived by one brother, Thomas Richard Patterson; and one grandson.

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06/19/12 05:15 PM #1    

Denise Holland (Johnson)

Here is a link to a great article honoring Kathy.


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