Donald W. Patterson (LCDR-USN Ret.) has made his final flight home to heaven.
Don passed away at the age of 95, while a resident at the Casa de Rosa Assisted Living Facility, on Tuesday, November 19, 2019. His wife and family were at his side, as he earned his final set of wings.
Don was preceded in death by both parents (Walter and Marie) and by his younger brother, Lloyd.
He is survived by his wife and soul-mate Nancy, two sons: Darrel and Don from a previous marriage, his daughter, Denise, four grandchildren: Airen, Amber, Steven and Greg; and three great-grandchildren: Jenelle, Mollie and his "special little buddy", Caden.
Don had a long and illustrious career with the United States Navy. He enlisted in the Navy in 1941--just a few weeks before Pearl Harbor. On December 7, 1941, he was on a bus coming home after finishing boot camp. These young men were allowed to spend the night with their families before heading off the war.
After the war, Don cotinued with his Navy career. He received his bachelor's degree from Jacksonville University in 1964, followed by re-enlisting in the Navy as an ensign. Don then completed flight school--becoming U.S. Naval aviator. The next 20-25 years were spent in various high-profile positions throughout the world including teaching at flight school. During this time, Don continued with his education and earned his master's degree from Old Dominion in 1968. Don's last duty as a Navy commander was teaching senior Navy ROTC students at UNM. He retired from the Navy in July 1970.
Don's wife and family are extremely thankful and grateful for the loving care he received at Casa de Rosa for 1 1/2 years. He was a dearly loved man by all of his caregivers who were so caring and gentle with him. Of course, Don had his "favorites"(you all know who you are.) An extra special thank you is for his "second wife" and "cheap date"--both of whom were caregivers.
Don's Life Celebration will begin with a Service on Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at 10:00 am at Reflections Funerals & Life Celebrations located at 2400 Washington St NE, 87110. Reception will follow the Service. LCDR Patterson will be laid to rest with full military honors at the Santa Fe National Cemetery located at 502 N Guadalupe St, Santa Fe at 3:00 pm.
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