SARASOTA COUNTY – It is with heavy hearts that Sarasota County mourns the loss of former Board of County Commissioner Nora Patterson, who passed away on Thursday, Feb. 8. She was 79 and spent more than two decades of those years serving the public.

Patterson was first elected to the Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners in 1998 and served until November 2014, serving three terms as Chair. Before her tenure with the county, Patterson served eight years on the City of Sarasota Commission, including a term as Mayor. She was a former teacher, small business owner and realtor.

Patterson grew up in New York City and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Duke University and a Master of Education from the University of Florida in Educational Psychology. Patterson lived in Sarasota County since 1970 with her husband, John.

She was an integral part of Sarasota County’s history, representing the county on regional boards that work with the regional water supply of a four-county area; MPO, the transportation planning organization advisory to the Florida Department of Transportation regarding Manatee and Sarasota counties and the maintenance of the Intracoastal Waterway in a four-county area. She served on numerous boards including Teen Court of Sarasota, the Jewish Family and Children’s Service and the Plymouth Harbor Board of Trustees.

Patterson will be remembered as a dedicated public servant and advocate for Sarasota County. The Bay Island Park was renamed in honor of Patterson in 2015. The park, known as Nora Patterson Bay Island Park, had significant park improvements completed in 2022.

“Nora had a servant’s heart and a reputation for dedicated service to the residents and visitors of Sarasota County. This is a significant loss for our community, but Nora’s legacy will live on through her decades of service and contributions to our community,” said District 1 Commissioner Chair Mike Moran.

“We are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Nora. She stepped up and served Sarasota County citizens with the mindset of making sure what was decided was in the best interest of our community. Her dedication and service will continue to shine throughout Sarasota County because of the relationships that were formed throughout her decades of public service,” said Sarasota County Administrator Jonathan Lewis.
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