Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean
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Classe d'entrée 1952 / 1952 Entry Class
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3789, Lieutenant-Colonel Reginald John Paterson, CD
Copied from The Star Obit

Reginald PATERSON, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Reginald John "Reg"

Reg passed away suddenly but peacefully, November 16, 2014 at his home in Thornhill. He grew up in New Brunswick, was in the first graduating class of CMR, went on to complete his engineering degree at both RMC and McGill University. Reg had a long (1958-1984) and distinguished career in the Canadian Armed Forces serving in Canada and abroad, completing tours of duty for both NATO and the UN.

Reg is predeceased (1982) by his first wife Ilse (nee Wachter) of 23 years and is survived by 2 of their 3 children, Lisa and Michael (Lisa Merkley) and grandchildren Shawn and Kenzie, and by his loving wife Lois. Reg is survived by seven siblings and he will be truly missed by them all (Ron, Victor, Elsie, Betty, Shirley, Joyce and Mac).

The world has lost a true officer and a gentleman - always giving and expecting nothing in return. We love and miss you!

Visitation will be held at R. S. Kane Funeral Home, 6150 Yonge St. (at Goulding, south of Steeles) on Friday, November 21, 2014 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m.
Funeral services will be held at Blessed Trinity Church, 3220 Bayview Ave., on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 10:30 a.m.
Interment to follow at Beechwood Cemetery.
A celebration of Reg's life will follow at the Royal Canadian Military Institute, 426 University Ave., Toronto.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made the Canadian Diabetes Association or the Canadian Hearing Society. Condolences

Eulogy by Reg's son Matt
Presented at the funeral service at Blessed Trinity Church in Toronto, 10:30AM Saturday 22 November 2014

Today we celebrate the life of Reginald John Paterson, the true essence of an Officer and a gentleman. Duty, Tradition, and Honour were the hallmarks of his life. He served his family, friends and country with integrity with no task being too onerous and no crisis too difficult to resolve.

As far as being a gentleman, he could teach our generation a thing or two about manners and proper etiquette. He was always the first to stand when a woman came to the table, and held open each and every door.

He was pragmatic and practical but tempered that with immense kindness, generosity, humility and love. He loved people and he loved the everyday casual interaction with them. He thrived in the challenge of giving any and every unsuspecting person that he met along the way a chuckle or grin to lighten their load. On an elevator he was not the type to ever glance up at the ceiling and then glance down at the floor. He broke that awkward silence with a vengeance. When I entered an elevator with him I sometimes felt some sympathy, but not a lot, for that unsuspecting person that would come on at the next floor. Most of them I think, never knew what hit them. He usually succeeded in getting that grin or chuckle. And he did it for no other reason than it made them feel good, and in turn, made him feel good. He once said to me, “Be nice to everyone, and if they don’t like you at least it isn’t your fault.”

He was the third youngest child of the Sackville New Brunswick Patersons. He was a mischievous child, an adventurous adult and always the life of any gathering. When he spoke to a crowd each person felt as though he was speaking directly to them, and when he shook your hand he looked you straight in the eye. He always made you feel special and important.

I mentioned that he was mischievous. One of my favourite stories of his childhood was about the Christmas when his sisters received dolls, and he received a carpentry set, complete with a nice, shiny new saw. He must have thought it was a surgeon’s saw because he then went to work on sawing the arms and legs off each doll. Clearly this event changed his career course from that of medicine to engineering instead, as his interest turned to trying to put them back together. He loved engineering and all that went with it, and in true engineer’s fashion when you asked him what time it was, he would tell you not only the time but also how the clock was made. I recall several answers to various questions would begin with, “In Roman times….”

He loved his family, both immediate and expanded. He was particularly proud of his two grandchildren Shawn and Kenzie. On the day that Dad passed away he was doing what he did every week: He was on the phone making calls to all of his sisters and brothers to get the lay of the land, and to see if everyone was alright, and then usually on Monday mornings he would give me the update. I called it the “original internet” and it was amazing to see how the family kept in touch and how information would flow from sibling to sibling and generation to generation without the use a Facebook, Skype or Twitter. Family is very special and this family is AWESOME.

He had two families really, in the sense that he had his core family but he also had the military. He loved the life and he so loved the camaraderie. He loved the tradition, the honour, and the principled nature of all of it. There was order, and you did things not because you would necessarily benefit from it, but because it was the right thing to do, so just do it. I recall while I was in university I was having a particularly difficult time writing a law paper and I called home expecting to get a softball conversation where he would say it was okay and everything would be alright in the morning. Instead he simply told me: “You know how to write, so just start writing.” Not quite the softball response I thought I might get, but it did get me started. He was loving and kind, but did not hesitate dispensing the cold hard facts when it was called for.

He loved history and politics and was the one source I would turn to for just about anything. His time spent with the UN in the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula made him particularly knowledgeable about that region of the world. I recall one of the last conversations that we had was a 90 minute phone conversation where we discussed the various players involved in the current Middle East crisis involving Syria, Iraq and ISIS. I had called to make sure that my understanding of the situation and the history of the region was accurate. I shall cherish the memory of that conversation.

He recently told me that he did not wish me to grieve for too long as he had lived a good life by and large. So today let’s grieve briefly, but tomorrow be happy to have known such a fine soul.

In closing, I can just hear my father saying these words that were originally spoken by Winston Churchill: “I am prepared to meet my Maker;Whether My Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”

Dad, put a good word in for all of us, until we meet again…..

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