Robert Patterson
1946 - 2016
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Robert Edward Patterson died last week after a decade long battle with Alzheimer's Disease. He was 70. Gentle, strong, and infectiously optimistic, Bob was born in Bloomington, Indiana in 1946 to John Patterson and Mary Elma Curl. After studying Chemical Engineering at UCLA under mentor Ken Nobe, Bob embarked on a forty-year career in aerospace. At 22, he designed photovoltaic solar panels for JPL. By the end of his work life, he directed Mission Assurance across Northrop Grumman's entire Space & Technology division. Throughout his life, Bob applied his scientific mind in creative ways. He once wooed a long-distance girlfriend, Karen Berkey, by describing with exactitude the precise beauty of her night sky. Bob married Karen in 1983. And together they nurtured what would become the great passion of his life -- his family. A Manhattan Beach resident across four decades, Bob spent his free time bodysurfing and headtripping with Dave Williamson and Jim Berryhill. And climbing the Sand Dune with Kelli McCabe. In recent years, he became an advocate for Alzheimer's awareness, serving on the board of the Alzheimer's Association alongside his good friend, Dr. Jeffrey Cummings. With the help of his caregiver, Lula Suleiman, Bob approached the daunting challenge of living with Alzheimer's with his characteristic strength and grace. In addition to Karen and siblings Mary Jane Kingman and Bill Patterson, Bob is survived by his children Dylan Berkey, Melanie Berkey, and Matthew Patterson -- and by his grandson, Oliver Tranchi. All of whom remember him as a man who lived with profound integrity and warmth. As a man who left this world having experienced -- deeply -- that most simple yet elusive of human traits: happiness. Memorial donations may be made in Bob's name to Opica or to Alzheimer's Greater LA.

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Published in Los Angeles Times from Jul. 15 to Jul. 17, 2016.
Memories & Condolences
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15 entries
November 21, 2016
Dear Karen and Family,

I never met you personally, but listened to your StoryCorps interview and was so moved by what you two shared. I am an oncology nurse up in Seattle, but also spend time as a dancer and choreographer and created a piece inspired by that interview for a local art museum's conference on Legacy, Dementia and the Arts. I was hoping to be able to send it to you. I don't know if you will get this message, but here is a copy of our performance this summer. It was an honor sharing your message.

My love and warmest wishes,

Jerene Aldinger
The dance starts at around 15:50 in this video.
Jerene Aldinger
September 21, 2016
My deepest condolences to the family and friends. May you find comfort by drawing close to God during this difficult time. James 4:18.
D. Wilmington - California
September 6, 2016
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
August 26, 2016
I am so sorry for your loss. May Almighty God who "binds up the brokenhearted" and "comforts all who mourn" sustain your family during this challenging time. (Isaiah 61:1,2) With heart felt sympathy to you and your family.
July 28, 2016

When someone you love dies, we need to go God for comfort. (Jeremiah 29:12) says " And you will certainly call me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you ". His words can equip you with "power beyond what is normal" to go from one day to the next.
July 25, 2016
I remember Bob from Dominguez High School. He always had a smile and was a great example of a leader. I will miss him. Blessings to his family. Ken Edwards Class of 1964
Kenneth Edwards
July 22, 2016
Kind, thoughtful, intelligent, accomplished, loving, genuine.... a true gentleman in every sense of the word. We will miss you Bob.
Dana Southwood
July 18, 2016
I met B through Paula Kaiser. We were 12 years old. When B and I were in ninth grade Acro-Government together, we sat next to each other. I got him in trouble all the time. He would turn beet red! We've had a lot of laughs over the years and all of us were blessed to have him in our lives. He was one of the good guys.
Mardelle Anderson
July 17, 2016
It's so hard to understand the loss of someone who meant so much to you and everyone that knew him. I hope you know special thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless
Kathy Brower
July 17, 2016
Bob was a member of the class of 1964 at Dominguez High School, even though I was in the class of 1963 at Dominguez I remember Bob as a extremely intelligent and outstanding member of his class. My condolences to the Patterson family and to all those who knew him.
Al Maybeno
July 17, 2016
I've known Bob since kindergarten and he was always such a great guy! Everyone loved him! He was so fun and so caring and decent. I last saw him a few years ago at his home. Karen invited us classmates over and we were all so grateful. He will be missed!

Christine Ford Dayton
Christine Ford Dayton
July 17, 2016
So sorry to hear of the loss of Bob, a first cousin on my mother's side. Memories go back a lifetime: I first remember him as little boy when the Pattersons would come to New Albany to visit Elba in the fifties. Our last visit was in 1982 when I and two of my kids flew to Los Angeles. Although miles separated us most of the time, I have many fond memories of times together long ago. Rest in peace, Bob....
Duke Marsh
July 17, 2016
I worked for Bob many years ago, and counted myself very lucky. Such a kind, gentle man who also knew when to stand firm and make decisions. Fly with the angels now, Bob. My condolences to his family. He was so proud of his wife and son, spoke so lovingly of you.
Stephanie Sundius
July 17, 2016
Dear Patterson Family:
My deepest sympathy and condolences for your loss. I had the privilege of working with Bob for almost 30 years at TRW/Northrop Grumman Space Park. He was an excellent engineer and a great human being.
I will remember him for his contributions and friendship over our time together.
Dick Croxall
July 16, 2016
Sending my condolences to the family. May God give you strength and peace during this difficult time. (Psalm 29:11)
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