Born in Pau, France, of an American G.I. father and a French mother, Odette Patterson (nee Walling) came to the United States with her family following the end of World War I. By all accounts bright and hardworking, Odette created her version of the American Dream by succeeding in the then-male dominated business world during the 1940s through the 1960s. After succeeding in a series of secretarial jobs at various places, she worked her way up to becoming a well-regarded advertising manager with First Federal Savings and Loan Association of St. Petersburg. After the death of her husband Charles A. Patterson, Odette started The Charles A. and Odette W. Patterson Charitable Trust in 1990 to benefit St. Petersburg police officers and firefighters, and to honor her husband. This collection documents Odette Patterson’s professional life, the Charles A. and Odette W. Patterson Charitable Trust, and, to a certain degree, her personal life. In all, this collection offers insight into the life of a working professional woman who entered a predominantly male field prior to the social and economic reforms that began for women in the 1960s.
Nelson Poynter Memorial Library. Special Collections and University Archives.; Schnur, James Anthony; and Jones, Marta L., "Odette Patterson Collection : A Collection Guide" (2010). Special Collections and University Archives Finding Aids: All Items. 37.
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