Captain John Wesley Patterson, US Navy-ret, passed away Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at the age of 73.
He was born February 22, 1939 in Los Angeles, CA. John spent most of his childhood in the Central Valley, graduating from Tulare HS. Before entering the Navy in Sept 1958, he attended Stanford University. He was designated as a Naval Aviator in June 1960. Captain John Patterson flew 245 combat missions in the Vought A7 Corsair II aircraft and was the first Navy pilot to fly 1,000 hours in the A7. While serving his country, Captain Patterson earned Master of Science Degrees in Aeronautical Engineering and International Affairs. His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, 25 Air Medals and three Navy Commendation Medals. Captain John Patterson retired from the Navy on 28 Oct 1986.
After retiring, John and his wife moved to the SY Valley. John worked for 15 years at the Santa Barbara Research Center. He served as the Chairman of the Solvang Planning Commission and Pres. of the SY Valley Rotary Club. He loved being around airplanes, even when he could no longer fly, and enjoyed many friendships through golf, tennis, fishing, bridge and Monday night football groups.
John is survived by his wife of 52 years, Pauline and their two children, David Patterson of Seattle, WA and Linda Smith of Galt, CA, as well as granddaughters Kayla and Kelsey Smith. He is also survived by his brother, Bud Patterson of Anaheim, CA. His wit, kindness and generosity will be greatly missed by all of us.
Memorial services will be held this Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 4:00pm at the Santa Ynez Valley Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, donations are asked to be made to the Wounded Warrior Project on-line or at P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675.