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Kerry Jay Patterson

Nov 9, 2022

1946 –­ 2022

Our loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, teacher, and friend, Kerry Jay Patterson, passed away in his home in Provo, Utah on November 6, 2022, due to complications from surgery.

Kerry was born in Bellingham, Washington to Malcolm Reid Patterson and Melba Noonan Patterson on March 30, 1946. The wooded hills around his home were the perfect backdrop for his childhood antics and provided endless opportunities to explore and grow. He would claim it was a little piece of heaven.

After high school, he attended Ricks College for one semester before leaving on an LDS mission in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He served faithfully and loved the people he served. As a young missionary, he found time to read Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage and developed a deep gratitude and strong testimony of his Savior that shaped the remainder of his life. He returned home to entirely new surroundings in Glendale, Arizona, as his parents had moved to a warmer climate while he was away. It was there that he first met Louise at an Institute party and later was delighted to discover that his parents had actually moved into her home ward. They quickly fell in love and continued their courtship at BYU and were eventually married in the Mesa Arizona Temple on September 12, 1969. Kerry then graduated from BYU in 1970 and went on to serve as an officer in the Coast Guard from 1971-1973. He finished his academic studies with a Master’s in Organizational Behavior from BYU in 1976 and completed his doctoral work in Organizational Behavior at Stanford University in 1980.

Kerry was recognized as an expert in organizational change, workplace and interpersonal communication, and corporate training. He cofounded Interact Performance Systems and Vital Smarts, which is one of the most admired training companies in the world. He was a prolific writer who has coauthored numerous articles and award-winning training programs. Kerry also taught at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management, where he was a favorite among students. He is a recipient of the Mentor of the Year Award and the 2004 William G. Dyer Distinguished Alumni Award from Brigham Young University. Kerry is coauthor of the New York Times bestsellers Change Anything, Crucial Conversations, Crucial Confrontations, and Influencer. He has sold more than 6 million copies of his books, which have been translated into 30 languages. He also authored the popular column “Kerrying On,” where readers enjoy his vision and life lessons in his humorous and engaging writing style. Later in his career, he helped launch The Other Side Academy and found immense joy hearing about its success.

Perhaps the only thing Kerry was more passionate about than his work was his love for his family and friends. He loved his parents fiercely and had a bond with his grandpa, affectionately known as “Daddy Bill,” that was legendary. He truly valued time with his children and grandchildren and spent many hours planning and creating experiences to share with them. He planned large family vacations, prepared the “best-ever” Christmas stockings, provided a vacation home for frequent gatherings, and spent endless hours playing board games around the table. We will forever cherish his storytelling and ability to make us laugh.

Kerry lived life to the fullest. In his free time, he enjoyed watching movies, writing, reading, traveling the world with Louise, collecting antiques, gardening, taking and editing photos, and watching football and BYU sports. He also loved to teach and mentor young minds and spent many hours taking willing participants under his wing. His most beloved attribute was his love and desire to help those in need. We are constantly discovering the many ways he quietly helped those who were suffering, lonely, or in financial distress.

He is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his eternal companion, Louise Christensen Patterson; his children Christine (Noel) Gouff, Rebecca (Bruce) Westenskow, Taylor Patterson, and Scott (Maren) Patterson; 14 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, and 1 brother, Bill. We will miss his kind and generous heart, his endless wisdom, and his joyful and witty presence in our life until we meet again.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, November 12, 2022 at the chapel on 3050 North Mojave Lane, Provo, Utah. A viewing will be held Friday, November 11 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Berg Mortuary of Provo, 185 East Center Street, Friday, November 11, from 6-8:00 p.m. and at the church Saturday from 10:00 a.m. Interment, East Lawn Cemetery Provo, UT. Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.bergmortuary.com.