Cory Patterson, a special education teacher, a friend to all, and a Wyoming Cowboy at heart, died on March 11 at the age of 39. Cory was a strong and brave man that battled Cystic Fibrosis his entire life. He was a man that changed lives and looks to his friends and family to continue his legacy of standing up for those in need.
Cory was born in Rawlins on March 23, 1979, to Terry and Jill Patterson. He graduated from Rawlins High School in 1997 with honors. Cory was on the tennis team as well as participated in track his freshman year. Cory was well-loved by his classmates and is remembered fondly as a sweet, caring, funny, and sarcastic guy to brighten your day and make you laugh. Cory was always around to stand up for anyone and began working with kids with special needs.
Cory followed his dreams and attended the University of Wyoming, graduating in 2003 with a degree in Elementary and Special Education. While at the university, he attended many sporting events and helped to cheer on the Wyoming Cowboys. His love for the state of Wyoming, as well as the university, never waned but grew deeper as he relocated for his career. Cory met Meagan at the university and she would move with him to Las Vegas, where they would start their lives together. Cory married Meagan in November 2008, where they had a Wyoming themed wedding with all of their family and friends surrounding them.
Cory’s life in Las Vegas started with a job as a special education teacher at an elementary school in an at-risk neighborhood. Cory had a love for working with students that had diverse needs, including students that came from tough backgrounds. He continued to grow in his education as he earned his Master’s in Teaching degree in 2006 from Grand Canyon University. He worked at both Arturo Cambiero and C.P. Squires Elementary School in Las Vegas as a resource and self-contained classroom teacher for 12 years. Cory was a dedicated teacher that worked not only to help his students learn and grow academically, but also worldly. He also worked to inspire and help new teachers at his buildings. Cory was a leader and mentor that many faculty looked to whether it was for help or a pick-me-up.
Cory’s main focus in life was to be the best person he could and to not let his disease control his life. Throughout his life he lived like there was nothing wrong. He was never one to complain or draw attention to his health because he wanted to be treated like he was normal and healthy. It came as a surprise to many people when he was no longer able to work in May of 2015. Cory then shared with his family and friends that he was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at the age of two. Since then, Cory was a voice and face for Cystic Fibrosis awareness. Leaving education was one of the hardest things that Cory ever did. While he knew he needed to take care of himself, he also wanted to continue to make a difference in children’s lives.
Cory had many hobbies and interests that made him who he was. He had a love for all sports and was a diehard Denver Broncos and Vegas Golden Knights fan. While they never had any kids, Cory and Meagan had their dogs and cats that kept their hearts full and happy. Cory enjoyed spending time with his friends and his family whether it was going to sporting events, camping, riding ATVs, playing games, or just hanging out at home with a cold Mountain Dew. He was able to liven up a room just with his smile and his infectious laugh. Some of the best memories are of him laughing until he would start to cry.
Cory is survived by his wife, Meagan; his parents, Terry and Jill Patterson; his grandmother, Lila Patterson and Jean Hogue; friends Michael Thielen and Shelly Miller; his nieces and nephew Annabel, Sawyer, and Maddox Witt; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. He is predeceased by his grandfathers, George Patterson, and John Emil Hogue.
A celebration of life will be scheduled for July 13 in Rawlins with additional details to follow. In order to receive updates, you can follow Cory’s Wolfpack: Destination Lungs on Facebook. The family asks that donations be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or your local animal shelter in lieu of flowers.
A benefit account has been set up to help with medical expenses at Platte Valley Bank under Cory and Meagan Patterson benefit.