Howard D. Patterson, 90, Orofino

      Howard David Patterson, 90, also known as Dave or Pat, entered heaven early Tuesday morning, Jan. 15, 2013 at Clearwater Valley Hospital.

     Dave was born in Butler, PA on April 3, 1922 to Howard and Hazel Patterson. He grew up in Butler, hunting, fishing, pulling pranks, and getting into mischief. On Oct. 2, 1942 he joined the Navy and served as a radioman in the Pacific in a seaplane squadron. He survived a crash landing at sea with fifteen others in three-three man life rafts for 44 hours until their rescue.

     Dave was discharged from the Navy on Nov. 5, 1945 and returned to Butler, PA. In December of 1949 he was severely burned in a highway accident and spent nine months in the hospital recovering. He then moved to California with a school buddy and found work in a manufacturing plant. It was there he met an office girl named Virginia Ohlson. After a five-month courtship they were married on Oct. 13, 1951.

     Dave and Virginia spent the next 13 years living and working in various places including Anchorage, AK, southern Idaho, Denver, CO where Dave attended gunsmith school, then to northern Idaho where they purchased 300 acres near Eastport and homesteaded in a couple different small cabins. When the 36-cents gas line came through, they sold their acreage and returned to southern Idaho where Dave attended heavy equipment school.

     In 1964, Dave and Virginia moved to Spokane, WA and he joined the Operating Engineer's Union of which he remained a member for 49 years. He worked on multiple construction jobs within a 200-mile radius of Spokane. Some of those included building the Lewiston levee, Lower Granite Dam, Grand Coulee Dam, and putting in power lines for Dworshak. Dave retired in 1985, and in 1993 he and Virginia moved from Spokane to Orofino. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, and motorcycles. Dave was an active member of the First Christian Church in Orofino.

     He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Virginia Patterson; daughter and son-in-law, Ida and Richard Smith of Lewiston; daughter and son-in-law Jennie and Shawn Barrong of Spokane; and brother Thomas Patterson of Saxonburg, PA. Dave also has five grandchildren, Tyler Barrong, Samuel Mahal, Stephanie Barrong, Justin Barrong, and Hannah Smith. Dave will be missed by many.

     A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26, at the First Christian Church in Orofino, Rev. Clarence Howard officiating. A luncheon will follow.

Transcribed by Michal Berreth-Beck

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