Gordon “Pat” Van Patten, 85, a longtime Baker City resident, died March 7, 2008, at Evergreen Health and Rehabilitation Center in La Grande.
His memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. There will be a reception afterward at the American Legion Club.
Gordon was born on Aug. 11, 1922, at Town Gulch near Bridgeport to Chester Arthur and Tina Whitworth Van Patten. He was the youngest of three children.
He grew up in the Burnt River Canyon area including Town Gulch, Clarks Creek Dredge Camp, and by the Burnt River where his dad worked on the dredge and mined. They lived in Dredge Camp on Clarks Creek for many years.
Gordon served in the 706th Tank Division in the South Pacific during World War II. He fought in many of the major island battles including Guam, Leyte, Luzon, Okinawa, and Iwo Jima.
He married the love of his life Flossie Kennedy, on Aug. 17, 1946, at Weiser, Idaho. They shared 60 years together.
Gordon was a “jammer” operator in the woods for many years, working for Grant Logging and then eventually for Ellingson Lumber Co. For a brief time in 1966, Gordon was a security guard for the federal government at the Umatilla Army Depot.
He couldn’t stay away from Baker City and the mountains he loved. He soon returned and continued to work in the timber industry. He enjoyed a lifetime of hunting and fishing, particularly with his son, Gary, and son-in-law, Steve Wickert, and later with his namesake grandsons, Pat and Gordon, and granddaughter, Susan, and her spouse, Mike.
In his last years he developed a strong friendship with John Mattis. They enjoyed fishing and trips down the Burnt River Canyon reminiscing and looking for bighorn sheep.
He enjoyed gardening, particularly growing tomatoes and onions, which he shared with everyone. He and Flossie also enjoyed trips to Nevada to play the slots.
Survivors include his son, Gary Van Patten and his wife, Rosanne of Baker City; daughter, Sherry Wickert, and her husband, Steve, of La Grande; grandchildren, Katie Gauther and her husband, Chris, of Salem, Susan Pearson and her husband, Mike, of Baker City, Pat Van Patten and his wife, Kristin, of Lewiston, Idaho, Ann Van Patten of Portland, Sarah Wickert of La Grande, and Gordon Wickert and Nicole of La Grande; eight great-grandchildren; and a whole valley full of nieces, nephews, and family.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Cecil Van Patten; his sister, Rose Haskin; and his beloved wife, Flossie.
Memorial contributions may be made to Pathway Hospice through Gray’s West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, March 12, 2008
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor