In Loving Memory

Richard E. Patterson

September 15, 1948 - September 19, 2022

Tribute

On Monday, September 19, 2022, Richard Edward Patterson, loving husband, father, and grandfather, passed away at his home in Fairhope, AL, after a brief battle with cancer. He had just turned 74.

Richard, known by many as “Rick”, was born on September 15, 1948, in Boston, Massachusetts. The eldest of seven children born to Richard A. Patterson and Eleanora Patterson, Rick spent his childhood years living in the projects of Brighton, Massachusetts. In 1965 Rick enlisted in the U.S. Army and was sent to Vietnam in the Spring of 1967 as a medic with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. In June of that year, he was severely wounded in battle and began the long road to recovery. Rick was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star with “V” device and was medically retired from the Army in 1968. 

After his retirement, Rick’s desire to help other disabled veterans and their families led him to the Disabled American Veterans. He spent the next 38 years dedicating himself to the DAV and assisting countless veterans along the way. He retired from the DAV as the National Headquarters Executive Director in 2010 but remained involved in other capacities until his passing. He was genuinely selfless when it came to his life’s mission, and many who knew him have spoken in recent days of the big heart he possessed.

Rick’s personal interests were many. Golf was one of his favorite past times. He golfed regularly on the course near his home but also had the opportunity to play many notable courses across the country over the years. He was an avid reader with a particular affinity for anything historical.   He enjoyed good food but also was an excellent cook himself. He took pleasure in preparing dinners for friends and family and delighted in sharing his recipes when asked. Travel was something that he enjoyed tremendously with his wife, Linda. In 2018, the two embarked on a four-month world cruise that took them to almost every corner of the globe. Their trip was well-documented through the beautiful photographs he took. Rick also enjoyed card games of all types, but he was an excellent poker player, even traveling to Las Vegas to compete in the World Series of Poker. Rick was incredibly proud of his four children and five grandchildren, taking great joy in hearing the news about their constantly evolving lives, both the exciting and the mundane.

Rick was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Eleanora, and his dearest childhood friend, Henry Servent. He is survived by his wife, Linda, with whom he just celebrated 25 years of marriage; children, Regina James (David), Andrea Lajoie (Richard), Matthew Patterson (Ashley) and Daniel Patterson (Sarah); grandchildren, David, Peyton, and Jack James and Wesley and Kennedy Patterson; brothers, Bill and Bob; sisters, Arlene, Diane, Paula and Carla; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and dear friends.

A visitation for Rick is planned for Saturday, October 15, 2022, from 2PM to 4PM at Hughes Funeral Home, 26209 Pollard Road, Daphne, Alabama. All are invited to attend. We just ask that you bring with you a favorite memory of Rick.

Those wishing to honor Rick’s commitment to veterans can do so by making a donation to the Disabled American Veterans. Donations can be sent to Disabled American Veterans, Attn: Remittance Processing, 860 Dolwick Drive, Erlanger, KY 41018. Please include a note stating that the donation is being made in the memory of Rick Patterson.

22 Comments

  1. Diane Barbieri

    A true American hero, Ricky you will be missed by all, fly high with the angels.. love cousin Diane

    Reply
  2. Jennifer Sebastian

    Rick was an amazing brother in love, more like a Dad at times and always a friend. Him and I could always make each other laugh about something goofy, I will miss that most. He was such a wonderful man and husband to my beautiful sister and for that I’ll always be grateful.

    I will miss him greatly and I am a better person for having known him. I will cherish all the memories I have, until we meet again. Rest in eternal peace with our Father. Love and miss you always Rick!

    Jen ♥️

    Reply
  3. Mike Wade

    Condolence on your loss. Sounds like Rick was a great man and role model. Sincerely, The Wade’s

    Reply
  4. Jeanne Cooper

    He lived a full, accomplished life and touched the lives of so many. My prayers are with the family in this difficult time. Hold tight to all your fond memories.

    Reply
  5. Janey Edwards

    So sorry for your loss Linda. We had some great meals with you and Rick! May God give you peace.

    Reply
  6. Jennifer Sebastian

    I am really going to miss you, Rick! You were an incredible brother in law, at times more like a Dad and ALWAYS a friend. I’m going to miss us making each other laugh about silly stuff the most. You were the best husband to my sister and for that I’ll always be grateful.

    I am a better person for having known you. Thank you for all the memories, until we meet again….love and miss you, Jen ♥️

    Reply
  7. Wambi Cook

    From one who knows intimately what you experienced that 22 June 1967, my emotions for your passing is incalculable. I should have suspected something was amiss when you didn’t respond to our mutual June remembrance reminder. Perhaps I did but wanted to believe our friendship would last forever. Well,I suppose it did.Thankfully ,your memory will forever retain a key place in my heart,mind and soul , brother.

    Reply
  8. Diane Patterson Packard

    Ricky
    You left us too soon but you’re not in pain anymore. I’ve always looked up to you my whole life and now you are gone. You are my Bother and will Always be my True Hero..I will always treasure our time we had on our cruises and reunions and I have a lifetime of smiles with you.
    We love you

    Reply
  9. Vicky Crouch

    I will miss Rick very much. He was more than a brother-in-law to me. He was part of our family. He was a wonderful husband to my sister Linda. They had a very special relationship. They loved one another so very much. rest in peace Rick you will be missed.💐

    Reply
  10. Marc Burgess

    Rick was a true patriot that loved his country and fellow veterans. The number of veterans lives that are for the better due to Rick’s years of dedicated advocacy are countless. He was a true friend and valued mentor. I will miss my friend so very much.

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  11. Rhonda Neuner

    I am so sorry for your loss. I heard nothing but great things about him.

    Reply
  12. Barry Jesinoski

    Rick was a hero on the battlefield and one hell of a veterans advocate and leader at DAV. I wanted to be “like Rick” since nearly the very beginning of my career. His care and concern for DAV, those we serve, and for our employees were always on display, and his thoughtful, professional, and caring approach to conversations was a trademark worthy of emulating. He was an incredibly good man and it was a privilege to know and work with him. I will miss him.

    Reply
  13. Art Wilson

    Rick was a close friend, colleague and trusted confidant during the 38 years plus that we worked together. An expert in executive leadership and in his role as Chief Financial Officer.
    He enjoyed helping those who required assistance in securing benefit entitlements and was a competitive golfer relishing any challenges that came his way. I will miss him greatly.

    Reply
  14. Rob Lewis

    Thank you Rick for your kind and inspiring leadership and for all the great work you preformed in service to your fellow disabled veterans throughout your career with DAV.

    Reply
  15. Al Williams

    We all lost a great friend and colleague. I had known Rick for well over 40 years. While he was living in Cold Spring, Ky and serving as Executive Director, we shared many Saturdays on the golf course. I will miss him so much. Thoughts and prayers for Linda.

    Reply
  16. Kyle Kelly (Salt Lake City)

    A sincere thank you to you Richard as an amazing leader of the DAV organization and all the work you have done paving the way for so many veterans like myself. you are owed a great debt of gratitude.

    Reply
  17. Silva Royer, DAV Ch.5 Gulfport Mississippi

    Our sincere condolences Chapter 5, Gulfport Mississippi, we lost such a valuable member in our MALT (Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee), district.

    Reply
  18. Deacon Juanita Powell Lancaster

    Condolences to the Family and friends ♥️
    Rich Love DAV 🇺🇸
    Juanita Lancaster

    Reply
  19. Floyd Watson, Dept. Adjutant Wyoming

    I first got to know Rick when I was on the Board of Directors 2005-2007. AS Chief Financial Advisor he was the man for the job. We flourished under his leadership. My condolences to the family. We will miss him.

    Reply
  20. Sam Sabino

    How does one say goodbye to someone you’ve known and loved for 50 years? (best friends) Over those years we have had the best times and stories to tell: golf trips, training and conventions, card games at each other homes, troubles overseas, and most of all our long talks.

    Rich has been like a brother to me. He has always liked a good argument (often about politics). That never stopped us from moving on after a good laugh, as Linda well knew. A tribute to Rich cannot be complete without mentioning his sense of humor. Some may not know he had one but his was the best: it snuck up on you (unless you caught the smirk ), it was dry, sometimes utterly out of place; but always spot on.

    Rich was a good friend to everyone that knew him. His journey through life could be made into a movie. I have never met anyone more caring and giving then Rich Patterson. He will be missed more then I can say. You were the best my friend.

    Reply
  21. Leslie Thomas

    Rick taught me early in my career how to get to the point. He would talk fast, drive fast, and would eat quickly. He didn’t waste time. The time we had with him was intentional. I respect and trusted Rick. I will miss him. My deepest sympathy to Linda and the entire Patterson family.

    Reply
  22. Chris Clay

    I met Rick in 1986 and later had the privilege of working under his leadership at DAV for more than a decade. His breadth of knowledge and range of interests were formidable. He taught me much about ever so many subjects. His bravery was breathtaking — a true American hero. Rick was devoted to family and never tired of expressing his love for his wife Linda. He extolled her virtues in the last conversation we had, just weeks before his death. Rick was the quintessential charity executive on a team of once-in-a-lifetime leaders. He led by example, punctuated with fairness and an admirable willingness to say — when the occasion warranted — that he had erred. He radiated genuine humility. Never once did he use intimidation as a management tool. For him, the rabbinical eulogy is apt: “Gut mein kindt” — well done, my child, Shalom to you, peace, forever. With love, The Clay Family (Chris, Maria, Lucas and Erica). We will miss your warm heart and incisive intellect and bear the sorrow of your passing until the day of our own.

    Reply

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