It is with great sadness that the family of Dr. Joseph Patton (Joe Pat) Bohanon announce his passing, which occurred unexpectedly on February 18, 2020, in Oktaha, OK at the age of 65. Joe Pat was born on September 10, 1954, to Julius and Agnes (Wade) Bohanon of Hugo, Oklahoma. He was an immensily proud member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and attended Hugo Public Schools, graduating in 1972. After graduation he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas in Arlington, then he obtained his Master’s Degree in Social Work Administration and Community Planning at UTA. During this time he was actively involved in Native organizations such as being the co-founder and charter member of the first Native American Student Association at UTA, where it is the longest active Higher Education Native Student Organization in Texas and still raises scholarships to benefit Native Students with an annual Pow Wow.
After college graduation he began his teaching career as an Adjunct Faculty Member with the Eastfield Community College in Mesquite, Texas. He also developed an American HIV/AIDS Prevention Program with Montrose Counseling Center and the Native American Health Coalition in Houston, Texas. After moving to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Joe Pat was employed as a Visiting Instructor and Coordinator of Field Educations at the University of Southern Mississippi in the School of Social Work. He received his Ph.D. in Education Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration at the University of Southern Mississippi. He was the faculty advisor for their first Native student group, The Golden Eagle Intertribal Society for six years.
He returned to Oklahoma and became the Chair for the American Indian Studies Division (AISD) and Assistant Professor of the American Studies (AIS) at Bacone College. He then accepted a position as President of Pawnee Nation College, after gaining much experience with executive duties, Dr. Bo (the name given to him by his students) decided to return to Bacone as an Adjunct Lecturer of Native American Courses. During this time, due to increasing health issues he was forced to retire from teaching as well as playing softball and Pow Wow dancing. He accepted Christ at a very young age and came to terms with his physical limitations to portray Choctaw and Christian values his parents installed in him.
There was a joyous reunion with the loved ones who pre-ceded him; his parents, son, (Mason Enright Bohanon), brothers, (William Lee Bohanon and Dewey Downey Bohanon).
He is survived by his daughters, Hanna Gail Snow and husband of Waxahachie, Texas, and Eva Louise Bohanon of Oakland, California; a son, Brandon Barlow of Arkansas; his sister, and brother-in law, Gail and Don Hillyard; his brother and sister-in-law, Douglas and Pam Bohanon; two special uncles, Tonie Wade of Duncan, OK and Jacob Bohanon of Lawrence, Kansas; as well as several nieces, nephews and close cousins; and special life long friends with some dating back to elementary through high school; his very loyal companion, “Toby” his miniature schnauzer.
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