David Patzman

Mission Woods mayor dies

The Kansas City Star - June 5, 2009

David Patzman

The small city of Mission Woods has a new mayor after 14-year incumbent re-elected in April died Monday.

Mayor David Patzman, 70, an attorney, informed the city council soon after his re-election that he was seriously ill with skin cancer.

"Our town has lost a great manager and a great friend and the legal community has lost a great attorney," said William H. Sanders, a city councilman.

Patzman's successor - Darrell Franklin - was chosen mayor at a special council meeting Tuesday. He is senior vice president of Endurance Reinsurance Corporation.

Patzman graduated from Shawnee Mission High School in 1956 and among his friends was former Kansas Sen. Audrey Langworthy of Prairie Village.

"He was a very bright and interesting person and had an extended family that included foreign exchange students who would stay at his home," Langworthy said.

In high school, Patzman traveled to Germany as an exchange student in 1955 and later graduated in 1963 from Harvard Law School.

Langworthy said Patzman was a gourmet cook and loved to garden.

"He also loved politics at all levels from the local to the state to the federal level," she said.

Franklin said Patzman loved being mayor and working with other county leaders.

Franklin said Patzman worked to have flowers and other plants installed in the city's seven traffic islands, including a tulip bed this spring near Shawnee Mission Parkway.

"Cars would stop and take pictures of the tulips," he said.

Mission Woods is a city with 160 residents and 48 homes. It lies just south of Westwood and Westwood Hills in northeast Johnson County. More than a quarter of the city's residents are 65 or older. The mayor's job is a voluntary position with no pay.