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January 24, 2022

Les Patterson of Kincardine died at Trillium Court Seniors’ Community, Kincardine, early on the morning of Jan. 24, 2022, the day that would have been his wife’s 93rd birthday. He was 96. We like to think they somehow chose that day together. Mom and Dad had been married for almost 70 years before her death, Feb. 20, 2020. Dad was a proud man – proud of his family and proud of his accomplishments. He was an amazing supportive father to Judy and Dave Lockhart of Kincardine, Jim and Mary Patterson of Tofino, B.C., and Janet and Dave of RR2, Tiverton. He was also a wonderful grandfather to Victoria Lockhart. Born Aug. 3, 1925, in the City of Toronto, he was sometimes a prankster at school, but was always determined to do his best and make his teachers proud. He won many clerical awards and was recommended for a confidential job, while in high school, with the Ontario Research Foundation. He received excellent references for his work at this venue. Dad left school early in order to willingly help his mom and dad with the medical costs needed for his lovely sister, Bev, who had a serious case of polio. His dad was working three jobs; his mom organizing appointments and volunteering in the community. Dad also endured polio – a mild case that returned in his later years. When of age, Dad signed up and quickly became a sergeant with the 48th Highlanders, training troops with the skills they needed for combat. After the war, Mom was a 16-year-old office girl working at Old City Hall in Toronto. Dad took one look at her and knew she was the one. They were married April 14, 1950. For 44 years, Dad worked for the City of Toronto, starting at the age of 16. He worked his way up from diligent office boy to co-ordinator of operations for the public works department, often called upon by the mayor for his input, advice, and suggestions. After the 55-centimetre snowfall in Toronto last week, he commented, “I bet they wish I was there!” His job required that he estimate and order salt, sand, and equipment for each winter season for the entire city, followed by organizing the application of these materials and the complicated removal of snow. He also was instrumental in the design and construction of the Don Valley Parkway. Dad’s mom was born in England, emigrating to Peterborough through Halifax, as a young girl, with her family. A professional soloist, she met his dad in Toronto, while attending the Royal Conservatory of Music. He was an employee at Eaton’s. They remained in Toronto until they both passed at a very young age within weeks of each other. Our Dad was very close to his grandparents, the Harrisons. His grandfather was a long-time mailman in the City of Peterborough. One of his uncles became well-known for sponsoring many Peterborough sports teams, attending games with his famous french fry truck. Dad worked at his uncle’s confectionery store, as well as slicing potatoes and selling fries. Dad’s grandmother had a great sense of humour. She purchased a cottage on Chemong Lake in the Kawarthas, near Peterborough - one of only three on the lake. Peterborough was Dad’s second home while growing up. He worked at Johnson Motors in the summers, during the night shift, when he was too young to enlist in the army. He loved Peterborough with all his heart. Buckhorn Lake, Chemong Lake, and Cameron Lake, Fenelon Falls, where his dad’s sister purchased a cottage with funds allocated upon the death of her husband, caused by mustard gas poisoning in the First World War. Many fond memories were spent with family and friends at various cottages in the Kawarthas. Dad loved spending time with his family. He enjoyed attending concerts involving Judy, Janet, and Victoria. Visiting Kincardine with Mom was a highlight of their lives, starting in 1976 when Judy, and her husband, “Big Dave,” started their teaching careers at W.E. Thompson Public School in Kincardine and Walkerton District Secondary School. “Big Dave,” a talented musician, was able to entertain Dad with his guitar up until recently. Janet and Dave, also teachers, enlisted Dad to help build their log home on Lake Huron. He enjoyed chatting with “Little Dave” and Janet about magic, cars, wildlife, family dogs, and cats. Dad went on many an adventure with his son, Jim, including rock-climbing, and being a passenger in the Cessna 152 that Jim piloted. He enjoyed home-cooked meals with Jim and Mary and appreciated their help before moving to Kincardine in 2015, while they moved to Tofino, Vancouver Island. An avid reader, with many interests and hobbies, including photography, building radios, family hikes, canoeing with Judy and Janet, playing scrabble with Judy, boating with Janet and Dave, swimming and music, Dad kept himself busy. He was a self-taught harmonica player and keyboard player. Learning how to play harmonica when Judy was born became a life-long passion. He played a large repertoire of songs on the harmonica, playing often when Judy and Janet visited, up until just a few days ago. Dad was an intelligent man with a quick sense of humour. He loved all aspects of nature. Dad led an interesting, full-filled life. He was proud of his choice to treat everyone fairly and with kindness. Thank you to all the residents and employees at Trillium Court who treated Dad with compassion, kindness, and understanding. Thank you also to Dr. Gary Gurbin for being a “great life-long friend” to Dad, and to Jennifer Farrell for playing the bagpipes at Dad’s 80th, 90th, and 95th birthdays. We will miss him dearly. Love ya Dad! The Patterson Family. A private family gathering will occur at a later date. Donations to the Ontario Nature Fund or the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy, and may be arranged by contacting the Davey-Linklater Funeral Home, Kincardine at 519-396-2701.