Monday, July 23, 2012

Lost General: Seattle's favorite clown, J.P. Patches

Seattle's beloved clown, J.P. Patches (Chris Wedes), is given his certificate as a Washington
General after being honored at Lt. Gov. Brad Owen's Strategies for Youth banquet
on Sept. 8, 2008. Bestowing the certificate is then Commanding General Chuck Hardaway and
the lieutenant governor. 
Among the many honors Chris Wedes earned over a lifetime of making kids laugh as Seattle's most venerable clown, J.P. (Julius Pierpont) Patches, was that of Washington General, bestowed on him during Lt. Gov. Brad Owen's Strategies for Youth fundraising banquet in 2008 at the Emerald Downs racetrack in Auburn.

Wedes, 84, died July 22 after a long fight with cancer, leaving behind generations of "Patches Pals" and fans across the nation.

Wedes was the featured guest at the banquet. In addition to being named a General, he received Strategies' "I Care about Kids" Award and was given a patchwork quilt sewn by the lieutenant governor's spouse Linda. Accompaning Wedes that night was his wife of 52 years, Joan.

The J.P. Patches popular show featuring a whacky cast of characters entertained children on Seattle's KIRO TV from 1958 to 1981. Wedes continued to entertain children and adults at parades, festivals and other and local events well into his early 80s, despite his illness.

"He will be missed," said Roger Flygare, adjutant general. Media coverage of General Patches' death has been extensive, including these obituaries in the Seattle Times and on KIRO TV.


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