Donald Alexander Paterson
  • 86 years old
  • Date of birth: Nov 1, 1929
  • Place of birth:
    Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
  • Date of passing: Apr 28, 2016
  • Place of passing:
    Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Do not let your hearts be troubled. My Father’s house has many rooms; I will go and prepare a place for you. I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14: 1-3

It is with sadness but also with joy that we announce the passing of Donald “Cap” Alexander Paterson (1929-2016) into the presence of his Saviour Jesus on Thursday, April 28th at Wyndham Manor in Oakville. He was surrounded by his wife and friend, of 59 years, Ethel Mae, his children and grandchildren. 

Surviving Don are his brother Alan; Don’s wife Ethel Mae, children Bonnie, Philip (Diane), David (Louise), Cathy (Lorne) and James (Lynn) and their eighteen grandchildren who loved and adored him and of whom he was very proud. Don's career involved Youth Work at St. Stephen's Community House (Toronto), St. James United (Simcoe) and Toronto City Mission.

A celebration service of Don’s life, with reception to follow, will be held on Saturday May 14, at 2:30 pm at St. Georges Anglican Church, 4691 Palladium Way, Burlington ON. In memory of Don, donations can be made to Threshold Ministries (Church Army ) or Canadian Bible Society.

P.S. Don requested his grandkids dress in bright and happy colours so feel free to join them and bring your favourite “Don” jokes or stories.

This space is also designed for you to share stories and memories, or "Don" jokes (see the stories section). You can also add any pictures of videos.

Thank you for joining us as we remember Don.


Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Francis Brennan on 26th May 2016

"It is with great saddness that I have just learned of the passing of a great boss, friend, mentor and father figure. In 1988-89 I came to Toronto a City Mission from England and you took me in and welcomed me into your family. The trips to the lake, the sunbathing in winter sunshine, the teaching to ice hockey, ski and ice skate as well as your patience in helping me develop Christian skills that have helped me within my pastorate, words fail me as I thank our God for all your love. I am forever grateful. Thank you Don & Ethel Patterson. Pastor Francis Brennan"

This tribute was added by Peter Muller on 14th May 2016

"Janet and I remember meeting Don and Ethel when we rented Jim and Lynn's Bronte Road home after we returned from Taiwan in 2010.  Almost immediately we were invited to his outreach breakfast on Saturday mornings up the street in the restaurant of a hotel. He had such a friendly and humorous and purposeful rapport and relationship with the hotel staff, and all the individuals who showed up at the breakfast. It was something Janet and I both looked forward to. He and Ethel were faithful followers of Christ and led their family in His ways. He had a heart for his family and other people that he came across as he lived life. He is home now after loving his Heavenly Father for many years. He was a man who loved his Lord and lived it out. Well done! We'll see you soon :)"

This tribute was added by David Horvath on 13th May 2016

"Don will be missed by his brothers and sisters at St. Hilda's Church. Don was always quick with a warm smile and an encouraging word. He had a unique disarming wit and a special grin that made him very approachable to both young and old alike.  He deeply loved his family and his wife but his compassion for others was obvious to everyone who met him. He will be missed."

This tribute was added by William Sinclair on 13th May 2016

"Don Paterson is central to the history and mission of St. Stephen's Community House.  He was our founder and literally changed hundreds of young lives through scouts, youth groups, camping at Sparrow Lake and recreation in our gymnasium.  He was a great leader and mentor - you can see it in the stories, pictures and videos from 1962-1972.  Don and his family lived in the House at 91 Bellevue and Don believed it enabled them to “get to know the people in the community in a way you wouldn’t otherwise.”  I will try to upload some photos from this era.  Love and condolences from the Board and staff of St. Stephen's Community House."

This tribute was added by Cheryl Bristow on 11th May 2016

"I first met Don at a Marney Patterson conference, just before my husband and I moved from Montreal to Toronto. Don called me up and invited me to take over the Christmas Basket Campaign that the Toronto City Mission was running in 1993. I remember him as a very fine man with a wonderful family. We were associated for several years through the Toronto City Mission, along with Mimi, Dale and Adrian, the other staff members at the time. My time at TCM was instructive and sweet, and I want Ethel and the family to know that many others benefited from his commitment to Christ and to the poor in Toronto. It was a privilege to know him."

This tribute was added by Jon Fuller on 9th May 2016

"I learned to canoe on Riley Lake, under the stern eye of Cap and the family.   Paddling a straight wake without a goon stroke was more than just good canoeing, it was art with integrity, joy on the water.   Don was never pretentious but every day was a gift and a celebration of the God who gives good gifts, and expects us to enjoy them.   Canoeing, sailing, coming alongside a young person filled with doubts, or an old person filled with fear, were all an opportunity to dive in to life and faith.   I'm richer and wiser for taking up that invitation Don exemplified, an invitation to live life in the fullness of God's love and grace."

This tribute was added by Nancy Armstrong on 7th May 2016

"Tears?...yes, but what joy in knowing one of the Lord’s faithful servants is home in His Saviour’s arms and probably already into renovating and adding rooms onto the place that Jesus has prepared for him and helping others with theirs.(not that they will need improvements)

I have many fond memories and thanksgivings for the time I have enjoyed knowing and serving with Don. It was his unconditional love and forgiveness that helped me become freer and has equipped me to keep sharing that message with others.  I also want to thank Don and his family, for allowing me to be blessed as one of the many brides that he walked down the aisle.
We will see you soon, Cap!
Love Nancy"

This tribute was added by Philip Noll on 5th May 2016

"Will remember sailing in Toronto Harbour, helping with a mission service in Simcoe and times together while Don served at TCM. A hard working, fun loving soldier, now promoted to glory. Philip, Kathryn & family."

This tribute was added by Verne Newman on 5th May 2016

"Summers on Riley Lake.....Playful pranks.....morning coffee on the deck.....and of course, summer regattas for the four cottages.  Blue vs. orange will never be forgotten.  We were lucky to have the privilege of spending nearly thirty summers with Don, Ethel and their beautiful family.  RIP Don         Barbara, Verne, Yvonne and Dianne"

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This memorial is administered by:

Christina Bender


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