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School Board Loses Trustee
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Patricia "Patty" Blount, a trustee of the Riverbank Unified School District and the Riverbank School District before it for 16 years, died Friday, May 1 at her home. She was 55.

The funeral arrangements with Lakewood Funeral Home provide for a viewing on Tuesday, May 12 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the parlor and funeral services on Wednesday, May 13 at 2 p.m. at the Assembly of God in Riverbank.

"She did a lot of stuff for the community," said one of her four sons, Garrett Blount. "She helped out with Little League many years ago and she and my dad Gary helped set up the River Oak Redskins football team. But the school board was her passion."

She counted the creation of the unified school district, giving Riverbank its own high school, as one of her greatest achievements on the board. She worked innumerable hours to bring unification about, followed by more work supporting several bond elections to fund a new and larger gymnasium.

A straightforward and outspoken trustee, she often took the minority view and voted against the rest of the board. In her last appearance on the board on April 21, she questioned the adequacy of supervision in sending two cadets of the Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps alone on a flight from San Francisco to Seattle.

Her husband Gary runs a small painting business in which Mrs. Blount helped and frequently brought her expertise on painting contracts to board discussions.

She was the mother of four sons who all attended Riverbank High and won distinction on the sports fields.

"I've known her all my life," said fellow trustee John Mitchell, who has served 14 years on the board. "She always supported staff and fought for the teachers because she said without good teachers and good conditions for them you cannot have good students. She was a compassionate person. The district will have problems now because she knew so much of its inner workings. On the board, she was the Momma of us all. She could calm us down, stop the squabbling and help us reach a decision."

"Patty served the district for 16 years and in the six years I knew her she certainly had student needs and activities at the forefront of her work," said Superintendent of Schools Ken Geisick in commenting on her death. "It's a big loss for the district. She was certainly a friend and supporter of Riverbank Unified."