Mary Ann Patterson

Mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, crocheting champion

Mary Ann Patterson, a longtime Our Lady of the Assumption parishioner, died on November 19, 2012. She was 90.

Mrs. Patterson was born August 7, 1922 in Yugoslavia to Nicholas and Barbara Zaharia. She immigrated to the United States at the age of 7 in 1929 with her mother and siblings. While she didn’t speak a word of English when she arrived, Mrs. Patterson learned quickly, settling in to life in St. Louis where she spent her formative years.

On her own, she moved to southern California in 1945 and began working in the unemployment office in Pomona. It was there she met Thomas Patterson, a returning WWII sailor looking for work. The couple was married in 1946 and began raising their family. Mrs. Patterson was a devoted wife and mother and, according to family, she continues to have each of her 6 children convinced they were her favorite.

While English was her second language, Mrs. Patterson taught her children to read and write and was heavily involved with their schooling, always serving as a member of the PTA or room mother. Having lived through the Great Depression, Mrs. Patterson knew how to stretch her family’s one-income budget. She was a magnificent cook, noted for her sticky chicken, stuffed bell peppers, corned beef and cabbage and, in a nod to her Yugoslavian background, homemade sauerkraut.

“My parents just made so much out of so little,” Mrs. Patterson’s son Kevin marveled. “At Christmas, we thought we were the richest family on the block.”

Upon their retirement in 1976, the Pattersons began their lives’ second chapter. They explored the United States in their RVs and often camped with a circle of friends they had met during Mr. Patterson’s tenure with the Metropolitan Water District, where he served as superintendent of the F.E. Weymouth Treatment Plant in La Verne. They enjoyed many cruises, too, counting Alaska as their favorite destination. They were also able to be a large presence in the lives of their grandchildren, leaving them with enduring and loving memories, family shared.

Mrs. Patterson loved rose gardening and listening to Lawrence Welk music and savored a good joke and a good laugh. She was a champion at crocheting, crafting a homemade blanket for each of her grandchildren and for several great-grandchildren. Faith was also a big part of Mrs. Patterson’s life. She attended St. Joseph’s and St. Madeleine’s churches in Pomona before moving onto Our Lady of the Assumption Church, where she was a decades-long member. There, she joined with a group of crafters in crocheting blankets for homeless people in need of a bit of warmth.

“A testimony to mom’s nature and devotion to family is the love and affection she received from her children and her sons- and daughters-in-law,” her son Kevin said. “Our angel will be forever loved and never forgotten.”

Mrs. Patterson was pre-deceased by her husband Thomas, by her parents, by her brother Tony and by her sister Elsie. She is survived by her sons, Richard and Michael; by her sons and daughters-in law, Mark and Berdie Patterson and Kevin and Kim Patterson; by her daughters and sons-in-law, Kathleen and Dennis King and Ellen and Tony Jardino; by her grandchildren, Chad (Bri), Kristin (Mark), Kenny (Kylie), Tyler, Shawna, Tommy, Andrew and Aaron; by her great-grandchildren, Kyle, Keira, Brooklyn, Kennedy and Justus; by her sister, Hilda, and by many nieces and nephews.

Services were held at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Mary Ann Patterson’s name to VNA Hospice Care, 150 W. First St., # 270, Claremont, CA 91711.





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