Former Arlington councilman Gene Patrick dies at 72

By | September 17, 2012

ARLINGTON, Texas — Gene Patrick, a longtime Arlington City Council member and theme park creative director, died Sept. 8, 2012. He was 72.

Patrick served as the at-large District 8 City Council representative from 2003 until November 2011 when he was forced to resign for health reasons.

Patrick, who was born in Cleburne, moved with his family to Arlington in 1951 and graduated from Arlington High School. After attending Arlington State College, now the University of Texas at Arlington, he began working with the Great Southwest Corp. as an original member of the Six Flags Over Texas creative staff.

Over the next 30 years, Patrick was involved in many theme park and entertainment projects, including the Astrodome, an indoor theme park in China and the creation of Six Flags Over Georgia.

He moved back from California to Texas in 1985, after retiring as creative director for Marriott’s Great America parks. The family had been looking for homes in other North Texas cities, but Mr. Patrick was set on returning to Arlington to open his own production company.

Patrick, who owned GP Show Productions and Showtek Corp., was known as an expert in design, costuming and animation in show production. His clients included 10 national theme parks, such as Six Flags Over Texas and Hershey’s Chocolate World, as well as the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.

Before being elected to the council in 2003, Mr. Patrick served on the Downtown Arlington Revitalization Committee, three years as president of the original Downtown Arlington Inc. and then three terms on the Planning and Zoning Commission. He and other community leaders helped draft a long-term master plan for the revitalization of downtown.

Other survivors include six children and four grandchildren.