BARRE - The Rev. Dr. John Barstow Paterson Sr., of Barre, Vt., passed away peacefully at home Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, after a long and courageous fight against multiple systems atrophy, and after a lifetime of dedicated service to the Lord and to his community. He was 80 years old.
The Rev. Paterson was most recently pastor emeritus at the First Presbyterian Church of Barre, Vt., having served as a church pastor faithfully for over 50 years, formally retiring from the ministry in 1996. The Rev. Paterson had previously served churches in Norfolk, Va.; Takoma Park, Md.; Princeton, N.J.; Tonawanda, N.Y.; and East Aurora, N.Y. After retirement he served as an interim pastor for a number of Vermont congregations.
Born in Middletown, Conn., on Nov. 22, 1932, the Rev. Paterson graduated from Swarthmore College in 1953 and went on to earn a degree in ministry from Union Seminary in New York City, a master's degree in theology from Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey, and a Doctor of Ministry from Lancaster Seminary in Pennsylvania. He married Katherine Womeldorf in July of 1962, and they celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary this past summer.
Survivors include his four children, their spouses and their families: Elizabeth and Stephen Pierce, of East Aurora, N.Y., John Paterson and Samantha Loomis, of New Canaan, Conn., David and Ariana Paterson, of Manhasset, N.Y., and Mary and Justin Heininger, of Hinesburg, Vt. He is additionally survived by seven grandchildren - Katherine and Margaret Pierce, Griffin and Jordan Paterson, Carter and Decker Paterson, and Liam Heininger - and one adopted grandchild, Katherine Greene.
In addition to his tireless work from the pulpit and within his community, the Rev. Paterson was a noted author of multiple books on faith and for the family, with five published works to his name. He was also an accomplished multimedia artist and an active and generous supporter of the artistic community, particularly in the Barre-Montpelier region.
Over the past decade he had served on the boards of Studio Place Arts, the Wood Gallery, the People's Health & Wellness Clinic, Central Vermont Habitat for Humanity, RSVP, and Central Vermont Community Action Council.
A memorial service will be held to honor the life and memory of the Rev. Paterson on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Barre, Vt.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made in his name to the Community Outreach Program of the First Presbyterian Church of Barre, Vt. (fpcvt.wordpress.com