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Home » Campus News Latest » Obituaries » Dewart “Dewey” Patterson ’50

Dewart Farlin “Dewey” Patterson, age 86, died May 23, 2019, at Central Vermont Medical Center in Barre, VT.

He was born in June of 1932 to Robert Patterson and Barbara Ball Patterson in Chicago, Illinois. He spent his early boyhood in St. Paul and moved to Fargo, North Dakota, at age 9. His first summer job was driving a diaper service truck at age 13. At the age of 14, he purchased and fixed up an old Model T.

He attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he met and married Margret Esther Kelley ’57. As a conscientious objector, he spent two years with the American Friends Service Community building simple rammed earth houses in Mexico. After moving to Sharon, he worked as a logger before finding a job in the Dartmouth College library where he was encouraged to pursue a Master’s degree in Library Science.

He worked in college libraries in Ohio, British Columbia and Manitoba before returning to become the director of Vermont Technical College library in Randolph. He later worked for the Vermont Special Services for the Blind and at Headrest and the Upper Valley Food Co-op. During this time, he renewed his interest in Latin America and traveled there to study Spanish. He spent four years in Monteverde, Costa Rica, helping to establish a chapter of Habitat for Humanity and hiking miles a day with a backpack full of tools to participate in building houses.

He spent the majority of his 70s and 80s in New Mexico, teaching English in a local literacy program. In the last year of his life, he returned to Vermont and lived near family at Fortier’s Elder Home in Barre after glaucoma took his vision. He loved reading, building furniture, and music, especially classical and folk songs.

He will be missed as a friend, as a teacher, as a deeply loving and devoted family man. He is survived by his children Rebecca Riley, Alan Jay Patterson Sr., Rose Patterson, Glenn Patterson, Martin Patterson, Arlo Patterson; and grandchildren Alan Jay Patterson Jr., Alexis Jane Patterson, Lucia Raven Patterson; and great-grandchildren Naveya Patterson, Jazlynn Vincent, Anthony James, Karmen Ponce, Jayde Ponce, Aaliyah Marie Ponce and Baby Ponce.

He was predeceased by his son, Joel Patterson, and by his wife, Esther Patterson. A gathering of remembrance will be held at the Unitarian Church vestry, 130 Main St. in Montpelier on June 8 at 3 p.m. Donations in his memory may be made to the Vermont Association for the Blind.