Jeanne Lillig-Patterson, wife of late Neal Patterson, dies after battle with cancer

Jeanne Lillig-Patterson, 59, co-founder of the pediatric healthcare nonprofit First Hand Foundation, died Sept. 4 after an ongoing battle with breast, bone and brain cancer, The Kansas City Star reports.

The news comes less than two months after the passing of her husband, Cerner Chairman and CEO Neal Patterson. Mr. Patterson died July 9 as a result of unexpected complications related to his soft tissue cancer diagnosis.

Ms. Lillig-Patterson was the seventh person hired by the medical software company Patterson, Group, Illig & Associates in 1981, and played a role in its renaming as Cerner in 1984, according to Kansas City, Mo.-based Avila University, which awarded her an honorary doctorate in May.

Avila University also described her as "instrumental" in establishing on-site daycare, preschool and fitness facilities for Cerner employees.

Cliff Illig — co-founder, chairman and interim CEO of Cerner — issued a statement on behalf of himself and his wife, according to The Kansas City Star.

"Bonne and I and the entire Cerner team are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend Jeanne Lillig-Patterson," he wrote. "Neal often called her the 'Soul of Cerner' because of the breadth of her impact on the company. She was one of our earliest associates, and her significant contributions continue to be felt across Cerner."

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