David William Patterson

January 22, 1938February 28, 2021

With heavy hearts, the family of David William Patterson reports that on Sunday February 28th, David crossed peacefully over to the Happy Hunting Grounds, surrounded by his family, in his home in Woodstock, GA. He led a long, wonderful life of good work and fine play, and was a loving father and excellent land steward. When asked recently if he had anything left on his bucket list that we could perhaps help him experience, Dave answered, “No, I did everything on my bucket list. I’ve had a great life, I have a wonderful wife, I don’t need anything else.”

Dave was born in the little agricultural community of Linden, in East-Central California, where his mother was also born, and where his father owned and operated a little pharmacy and soda fountain. Dave worked there as a ‘soda jerk’ during high school when he wasn’t playing football or tuba. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in biology at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, and lived at that time by the beautiful Pacific Coast where he worked for room and board doing farm chores. A highlight of Dave’s youth was the summer of 1957 in Alaska. There he worked for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a “stream guard,” to ensure that the fishing boats weren’t picking up salmon in their gill nets.

After college David served 5 years in the Navy as First Lieutenant and Gunnery Officer on a Tank Landing Ship, the USS Stone County LST 1141. He worked for the Navy in the Hawaiian Islands, and on Coronado Island in San Diego, where, while out with friends dancing at a bar on the North Island Naval Air Station, he met his future wife Sandra Jolissaint. They married in June of 1965 and lived all over California. Their two children, daughter Diane and son Daniel, were born in San Diego and Merced, respectively, and grew up mostly in Red Bluff, California, where Dave worked 24 years for the USDA Soil Conservation Service (Natural Resource Conservation Service). After his years with the SCS he worked for 9 years with California Waterfowl Association. CWA focuses on the restoration and enhancement of wetlands in California, and Dave had many successes there creating working partnerships and finding financial support. We are forever proud and grateful for the profound work our Dad did to protect the soil and water in California, Oregon and Eastern Nevada. He was considered by those he worked with to be an innovator, and a life-changing mentor in his field and as a person.

When David’s professional career was over, he and Sandy moved to Woodstock, Georgia, where Dave enjoyed new friends and some years volunteering with beloved Mountain Stewards, We thank all the mentors, family and friends who inspired Dave throughout his life and helped him to become the great man that he was.

Dave always loved to tease and was notorious for his silly jokes, such as this gem: What did the girl mushroom say to the boy mushroom? You’re a real fun-gi. Dave will certainly be remembered as a real fun guy!

Grumpy Grandpa, as he was called by granddaughter Chloe, is survived by his amazing wife Sandy Patterson; daughter Diane Patterson and her partner Sheba Love; son Dan Patterson and his wife Ashley Tone Patterson; granddaughter Chloe Elizabeth Tone Patterson (9); and two sisters — Ellen Pierce in Los Angeles, CA and Martha Bienert in Pinetop, Arizona. He will also be missed by many wonderful nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents William H. Patterson of Indiana and Velma Lewis Patterson of California, and his favorite uncle, Howard C. Lewis.

A service to celebrate Dave’s life will be held at the The Catholic Church of the Transfiguration, 1815 Blackwell Rd, Marietta, GA 30066 on April 8th at 3pm, followed by military honors at the Georgia National Cemetery on Friday, April 9th at 2:30. To watch the service live-streamed or at a later date,

In lieu of flowers, donations in David’s honor can be made to California Waterfowl Association,

Reach out to the family: Diane (214) 676-7199.


  • Mass

    Thursday, April 8, 2021


David William Patterson

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