(Seguin) -- The signs are up, and now, it's official. Travelers and local motorists will never longer forget the heroic efforts and the legacy of one of the state's fallen officers, thanks to the newly erected highway memorial signs that designate a stretch of highway in Seguin as the "Texas Game Warden Teyran "Ty" Patterson Memorial Highway."
Earlier this year, it was announced that the state was naming a stretch of State Highway 123 Business in honor of Patterson. The name will be designated for the roadway of State Highway 123 Business (Austin Street), which runs in between Continental Automotive Systems (3740 N. Austin St) and down to its connection with State Highway 46.
Patterson died in the line of duty on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 during a search and rescue operation on the Paluxy River in Johnson County. Patterson, who was born and raised in Seguin, drowned after his boat capsized in raging floodwaters. At the time, he and his partner were attempting to recover the body of a drowning victim.
The late officer's father Joe Patterson, Sr. says although it's been more than a decade since his son has died, he is humbled by finally being able to see the results of many people's hard work in getting the signs up and the roadway designated in his son's memory.
"Naturally being in the process as long as we have to get this done -- when we got to this point, it's like a culmination of a lot of hours of hard work and desire and a little stress, not a lot of stress but for the length of time, it created some stress but it was a pleasure. It was an honor and I was more happy that we were honoring Ty because of his hard work and his dedication to the state of Texas and now it's appreciated by the state in the form of his memorial highway so we are tickled to death happy and honored. We had our game wardens there. The colonel was here and David Sinclair who worked so hard and diligently to make it happen and the other game wardens who contributed as well," said Patterson.
The signs were installed on the north and south end of the highway on Monday morning. Patterson says he is humbled that no matter the future, his son and his bravery will forever be preserved by the great state that he committed to protecting.
"I guess this is what he left to society because we all should feel a sign of purpose and for him to actually leave something that will be with us -- when I'm gone, when my wife and kids are gone, his name will still be on that highway unless they take the highway out and I don't see that happening anytime but he will be here forever and Seguin can always honor Game Warden Ty Patterson. That is something that we can be super, super proud of as a community and as a family," said Patterson.
The family also thanks State Senator, District 44 Judith Zaffirini and State Representative, District 44 John Kuempel for their authorization and sponsorship of the sign via Senate Bill 396.
Patterson and his family again extend credit to all others who spent the last few years making the highway name a reality. They especially thank Robbie Robinson, the Texas Game Warden and president of the Game Warden Peace Officers Association and David Sinclair, retired Texas Game Warden and GWPOA legislative consultant, who became the loudest advocates for the memorial and who helped walked the family throughout the process.