Courtesy of the United States Naval Academy:
After graduation from the Naval Academy, Don (most of you probably remember him as Ray, since that's the name he used at the Academy) attended Basic School at Quantico, Virginia, and was then transferred to the 3rd MARDIV on Okinawa. His next tour of duty was with the 8th Engineer Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where he met and married his wife, Bunny, on 1 August '59.
We then had a dream tour at MCAS Kaneohe, Hawaii, where son Scott was born. Following that was Engineering School at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia and then the Research and Development Center at Quantico, Virginia. Daughter, Robyn, was born here. USNPGS at Monterey, California, was next for a masters in Management/Data Processing. A tour in Vietnam at DaNang followed and then to HQMC in Washington, D.C. Rick was born during this tour.
A short move to Quantico followed where Don attended Command and Staff College and then was the director of the Computer Sciences School there for a short time. Schooling was not over. Next was the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, where we fell in love with New England and Rhode Island in particular.
Don went unaccompanied to the III MAF at Iwakuni, Japan and the family stayed put. We were transferred to MCB, Camp Lejeune for 18 months. Then returned to Rhode Island as a member of the Management Staff at the Naval War College. This time we didn't leave. Don retired after 23 years and took a position of Executive Director of MCDPS until his death from lung cancer on July 22, 1980. His remains were interred at Arlington National Cemetery in the Columbarium with full military honors.
Don always pursued excellence in everything he did. He was a wonderful gardener and our yard was always the prettiest on the block, wherever we lived. For many years, he raised tropical fish, but several moves in a row played havoc with the glass tanks, so stamp collection became the favorite hobby. He left an excellent collection. Don loved being home with his family most in life — well, maybe next to the Marine Corps. He was always involved with his children's activities, managing Little League teams for 8 years and diverse jobs with Cub and Boy Scouting. He was also Head Usher at the First Presbyterian Church in Newport, where he was a member when he died.
He would be especially proud of his children today. Scott, 23 is a Phi BetaKappa graduate of Dartmouth College and attends Columbia Medical College on an AROTC scholarship. Robyn, 21, is a senior at Gordon College, a honor student majoring in Phys. Ed. Rick, 16, is a junior at Portsmouth High School and plays soccer.
Don always recalled his years at the Academy with great fondness. If he were alive today, I know he would be at the reunion and telling any of you who still smoke that there is still time to quit and live longer and better.
Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard