‘Bye-bye for now!’ On Sunday, July 22nd, Chris Wedes passed away at age 84. Wedes, who had battled cancer for years, was very well known to native Seattlites (and Fremonsters) as Julius Pierpont Patches – or J.P. Patches to the ‘Patches Pals’ that grew up watching his Emmy winning television program.
From History House -
“History House, along with all of you, mourns the loss of our good friend Chris Wedes. We will figure out some way of publicly remembering our friend in the near future. In the meantime, we invite anyone who would like to send a note about their experience with J.P. to History House (J.P. Patches C/O History House, 790 N 34th St, Seattle, WA 98103). We will keep it with our other J.P. Patches treasures and maybe make a small exhibit from them.
The J.P. Patches & Gertrude Statue [by Kevin Pettelle] in Fremont ‘Late for the Interurban’ appears to be becoming a gathering place for folks who want to bring something for J.P.”
From the official J.P. Patches website webmaster, Bob Alexander -
“Dear Patches Pals, …we all were saddened to learn of the passing of Chris Wedes, J.P. Patches. He was a remarkable man. It is not possible to put into a few words what he meant to all of us who grew up with daily visits to the Mayor of the City Dump. I’m reworking this website and jppatches.com will be back online in a few days.”
As a fellow Patches Pal, I am heartsick at our loss but grateful to everyone that helped create, fund and install the sculpture in Fremont that will immortalize the joy-filled work of Wedes and Bob Newman (‘Gertrude’,) and everyone that worked on the J.P. Patches show.
I am also heartened at the memory of the unveiling ceremony (on August 17, 2008) when MC Pat Cashman had the entire crowd (all 2 – 4,000) turn to look at a banner hanging behind them – and when they turned, everyone had on a red foam clown nose. The surprise for Wedes and Newman was delightful, along with the awareness it gave them of the sincere dedication and love of their fans. I am glad to know that before he left us, Wedes had a chance to know how we felt.
Farewell, Wedes, and thank you for it all!