Richard Patterson


10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Friday, October 14, 2022
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church
14107 Hudson Road South
Afton Minnesota, 55001

Memorial Service

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Friday, October 14, 2022
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church
14107 Hudson Road South
Afton Minnesota, 55001

Richard Dean Patterson passed away on Saturday, October 8. 2022 at home surrounded by his wife of 70 years, Ora Mae, his daughters and grandchildren. Richard was born on July 5th, 1933 on a farm in Northeast lowa, Winnesheik County to Harvey and Ethel (Pierce)Patterson. He attended country school and graduated from Canton High school in 1951. He furthered his education with the Industrial Training Institute in Chicago focusing on Electronics with numerous other courses at the University of California and Minnesota. On June 9, 1952, He married the love of his life, Ora Mae Willford. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this year. Together they had 5 daughters from 1957 to 1965.


Not long after they were married, Richard got a call to serve his country and headed to Fort Bliss Texas for basic training in the Army. He was then assigned to the 24th Infantry Division, 26th AAA and left for Korea for 18 months, 1953 to 1955. Richard worked at the Coast to Coast Store in lowa, and Coca Cola in Sheboygan WI. In 1955 Richard started as a lineman with Central lowa Telephone company in Swea City, IA. He built lines, climbed poles and repaired and installed phones. Later worked in Swea City and Ledyard IA as the local Manager. In 1960 Richard began working for Central Telephone in Boulder City, NV. He was responsible for installation, repair, central office maintenance and the foreman for the Boulder city and Searchlight exchanges. In 1967 Richard worked for Holmes and Narver Engineering as the Central Office Project Coordinator on Amchitka Island in Alaska. In 1968 Richard went to work for Continental Telephone (later known as Contel) in Blythe CA as Foreman for the central office and Toll Facility. In June 1971, Richard transferred to St. Paul MN as Division Central Office Coordinator, Division Traffic Manager for MN, WI, ND, SD and was Manager of plant operations for the southern half of MN, WI and SD. 1983 Richard became the District Manager of Missouri West and Kansas. Richard made the decision to retire from Contel Telephone Company on January 1, 1990.


After retirement, Richard and Ora Mae made the move from Branson, MO to Lake Wapogassett, WI. In 1995 they decided they wanted to be even closer to grandchildren and moved to 57th Street in Afton, MN. In 2015, Richard and Ora Mae decided to downsize to a detached town home in Woodbury, MN where he resided until his death. During Covid, Richard with the help of Ora Mae wrote his autobiography “‘A Lifetime of Git her Done”, telling and sharing stories of his life and all the adventures for his children and grandchildren and generations to come. Richard was very active in the community and received many distinguished awards:

1957-1959 Volunteer for Swea City Fire Department

1962 -1963 Employee Negotiations with IBEW in Las Vegas, NV

1964 -1965 Board of Directors and Secretary/Treasurer of The Boulder city NV Aero Club

1966-1967 Commander of the American Legion, Post 31

Headed up the Damboree Celebration for the Boulder City, NV

70 year member of the American Legion

1967-1968 Sargent of Arms for Nevada State American Legion,

Life Member of the VFW Service Organization

1966 -1967 Vice President of the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce

1966-1967 Received Distinguished Service Award ” Outstanding Young Man of the Year” by the Jaycees.

1967-1968 President of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (ELCA)

1969 Member of Toastmasters in Blythe CA

1983 Advisory Board for Dakota County Technical College

1988 President of Ozark Mountain ITPA Pioneer Club in Branson, MO

1986-1989 Contel Safety Awards. His program was adopted throughout the company

1989 – 1991 Board of Director for Ozark Mountain Banks

1989-1991 Board of Director for Economic Development, Branson, MO

Other awards, for Safety Programs, Outside plant instructor, Management Relations, Defensive Driving, MBO Appraisals, I&R Supervisor Training, Advanced management Training, Safety Education and development of basic accident investigation, USITA Achievement Award, Pioneer of the Year Award from Lake Country IPA (Independent Telephone Pioneer Association, West District Golf Classic.


He loved snowmobiling, flying, hunting, fishing, woodworking, family, traveling in their motor home and was a proud veteran.


Richard is survived by his wife of 70 years, Ora Mae Patterson, his 5 daughters: Kim (Jerry) Scanlan, Oronoco, MN; Kristie (Bill Tinucci) Patterson of San Luis Obispo, CA; Kay (Kevin) Moquist, Woodbury, MN; Karin (BJ) Johnson, Oakdale, MN; Karla (Bill May) Wise, Woodbury, MN. Grandchildren: Colin (Ashley Freese) Scanlan, Byron, MN, James (Darcy Simmons) Scanlan, Austin, MN, Bryant Moquist, Venice, CA, Mackenzie Moquist, Pasedena, CA , Taylor (Sam) Jones, Mound MN, Parker (Gracie Cherrey) Moquist, Charlotte, NC, Dalton (Katie) Johnson, Cottage Grove, MN, Hayley Johnson, Oakdale, MN, Olivia (Shaun) Johnson, Maplewood, MN, Hannah (Danny Marquardt) Wise, St. Paul MN and Caleb Wise, Woodbury, MN. Great Grandchildren: Adrianna, Abigail, Gabrial, Jordyn, Olivia, Evelyn, Vincent, Jayce, Maverick, Kendall, Ryann, Jett and Eze. His Brother Allen Patterson, of Spring Grove, MN, and many nieces, nephews and their families.


He is preceded in death by his parents, Harvey and Ethel Pierce, his stepmother Edna Patterson, His brothers Donald Patterson, Arland Patterson, and his sisters Ruth Morem and Marjorie Kimball.


A memorial service for Richard will be held on Friday, October 14, 2022, at Shepherd of the Valley Church in Afton, MN. Visitation will be from 10-11 a.m. with a service at 11 a.m. Memorials are preferred to the family. His burial will be at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Preston, MN at 11am Monday, October 17.


You can watch his service live here.


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2 Responses

  1. Wanted to send my condolences to the Patterson family. I was saddened to her of Dick’s passing. I always enjoyed my Sunday mornings before church to have a great discussion just about anything that had to do with life. He always asked me how I was doing, and most of the time a jab or two, all in good fun. I will miss him truly!

    Jon Madson

  2. Peter and I are so grateful that we got to know Richard. He was such a wonderful person with a great sense of humor and view of the world. If we saw their garage door open, we would grab a camping chair and go down for visit. The world has lost a good person and he will be missed.

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