December 4, 1924 - September 10, 2012
Resident of Meriden, CT
RAYMOND JOHN ("RAY") PATTERSON
Memorial services for Raymond John Patterson will be held in the Bay Area on the 5th and 6th of July, 2013. He will be interred at the Golden Gate National Cemetery on Friday, the 5th of July at noon, with full military honors. A second service will be held at Chapel by the Sea in Pacifica on Saturday the 6th, also at noon. He passed away on September 10, 2012 in Meriden, Connecticut, but members of his family will gather locally for services in the community where he lived and was active for over 30 years. His friends and their families are welcome to attend both services.
Raymond was born in New Britain, CT on December 4, 1924 to Estelle and Raymond Norris Patterson. He grew up on Blue Hills Farm in Kensington, graduated from New Britain High School (where he was voted Best Dressed), and went on to be the youngest member of the New Britain Symphony as an accomplished violinist. An expert outdoorsman, Raymond made money as a trapper in his youth. He was an expert marksman, spear fisherman, and bow hunter. Later in life, he would admit to following his own hunting seasons, more dictated by the volume of game in the freezer than any published dates.
Enlisting in the US Marines at age 18, Raymond was deployed to the Pacific theater as an aerial photographer during WWII. Not satisfied with photographing enemy installations from the air, and unconstrained by prior consultation with his superior officers, Raymond made his way to the front lines to fight alongside his Marine Corps brethren, and was subsequently wounded in battle.
After the war, Raymond met and in 1950 married Donna Davey. Another veteran who had seen active duty in the Pacific, she was the gifted RN who nursed him back to health at Fort Miley Hospital in San Francisco. She was the love of his life.
Raymond and Donna built their first home in what would become Pacifica, CA, raising their children in an idyllic setting a block away from the Pacific Ocean and 10 miles away from San Francisco. Raymond spent his weekdays constructing the subdivisions that would come to define the footprint of California suburbs, and his weekends competing as a founding member of the legendary San Mateo County Sea Lions, Northern California's first skin-diving club.
With his children grown and in college, Raymond began his second career in civil service as a facilities specialist across San Francisco Bay, first for the Navy on Treasure Island and then the Coast Guard at Alameda. At the same time, he took up sailing and marathons. While most of his peers were planning their retirement Raymond followed his Coast Guard work to Kodiak, Alaska in 1981 and then on to Delta Junction, Alaska, building everything from a child care center to a dam for the Army Corps of Engineers out of Fort Greeley, AK.
Raymond stayed on in Alaska to launch his third career as an entrepreneur after his retirement, owning and operating The Delta Fitness Center in Delta Junction and investing in local real estate projects. He regularly competed in marathons across the state, always finishing first in the Male 75-90 age category. Building on his early training in classical music, Raymond carried on a life-long love affair with popular music, and recorded an album of standards in 2005.
Declining health brought Raymond back to "The Lower 48" in 2009 to be closer to his children.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on June 22, 2013