Glen Alexander Patterson: September 23, 1921- May 15, 2018
Glen Alexander Patterson, 96, died May 15th with family at his side. He is survived by his sister, Jean Edwards of Toronto, son Dennis, (Evelyn) Bruce George, Jessica and Alexander, son Bruce, (Ilse) Kate, Rose, Lena and daughter Sheila, (Brian) Lewis, Isobel, Sally, and 5 great grandchildren.
His was a life well lived and was a longtime member of NARGS.
He was born in Calgary to a musical and gardening family. When Glen first laid eyes on Vancouver in 1936 as a boy on a band trip playing at the Haywood bandstand in the West End, it was the beginning of a lasting love affair with this city. He graduated in Commerce from UofA and then served with the Royal Canadian Air Force training pilots in the Commonwealth Air Training Plan. After the war, he and his high school sweetheart Isobel Farr eloped to Vancouver. Glen got a job in the Kananaskis and lodging was scarce. They took over an abandoned prospector's cabin and while Glen cruised timber, Isobel fended off the bears. What bliss! Back to Vancouver, Isobel worked to support Glen when he took a second degree in Forestry (UBC 1947). Jobs were scarce then and they were thrilled when Glen was hired by Canadian Forest Products in the Nimpkish Valley on Vancouver Island as a fire warden, later as a forester. Living in isolation in remote Woss Camp they raised 3 children. Home was an uninsulated wood stove heated bunkhouse, sensibly sited on gravel. Ever the gardener, Glen packed swamp soil on his back to establish a garden that was their pride and joy. His work talents were recognized and he was promoted to management at Grande Prairie, Alberta and in the last years of his career to his beloved Vancouver as VP at Canfor. His retirement was not retiring. He threw himself at exotic travel often in the pursuit of rare plants. He created two outstanding gardens, one at Pilot House Rd in West Vancouver and his piece de resistance in Coal Harbour, a celebrated rooftop garden that defied gardening norms.
Glen had a zeal for life and his enthusiasm was unmeasured. If you asked after Glen, his reply would invariably be "Never better". Among his many passions; nature, travel, rare plants, the mountains, politics, the Internet, photography, fitness, investing, conifers, his I-phone, pussycats, collecting Indigenous West Coast Art, and his grandchildren. He adored his final home at Tapestry, UBC. He is remembered for his courage and his steadfast commitment to his independence. (How about 5 times /week personal training sessions until right before his death!)
His curiosity and intellect were prodigious and his many opinions were staunchly defended. He was serially social, though his black cloud was the tragic loss of Isobel in 1971.
Our Dad, Brother, Grandpa, Great Grandpa and Friend, Go well to the Great Beyond
Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province on June 9, 2018 :