Posted On October 26th, 2013 -

10-26 MARY ANN PATTERSONMARY ANN DAISY PATTERSON Beloved mother of James Ross Patterson Jr. of Honolulu and Roderick Field Patterson of Portland, Oregon, died October 10 in Kaneohe after a brief illness. She was 89. Her primary occupation was as a stay-at-home mom, and she worked for a time as a grief counselor at Williams Mortuary, and as an instructor for Weight Watchers. But the best thing she ever did, she told her family, was to enlist in United States Marine Corps in 1944 at the height of World War II. In what was then called the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve, she joined a select group of women whose service would “free a Marine to fight”–as the recruiting posters said. Born Mary Ann Dewein in Belleville, Illinois, on March 9, 1924, she attended local schools and starred in dance recitals. She attended the University of Washington in Seattle, then went to work in a downtown store located near the Marine Corps recruiting office. Inspired by the example of others, and seeking new structure and direction in her life, she enlisted. After basic training at “Camp Leatherneck” in Lejeune, North Carolina, she was stationed in San Francisco, where she worked in the Corps’ Depot of Supplies. Discharged in 1946 with the rank of corporal, she married James Ross Patterson, a Navy veteran in San Francisco where their twin sons were later born. The family moved to Kaneohe in 1953, after a 12-hour flight from California and a night-time drive over the old Pali Road. Daisy plunged into life in her new home, taking Hawaiian language lessons from Annie Kanahele, and Chinese cooking instruction from Mary Sia. She was also active in PTA at Benjamin Parker Elementary School and was a Cub Scout den mother. Her husband died in 1998. A woman of her times, she was known for her matter-of-fact view of life, and terse catch phrases and slang expressions. Ask her how she was and the answer would range from “zilch,” through “fair to middling,” to “copacetic.” She collected her favorite sayings which expressed her views on life and the one she used more often in a sort of verbal shrug, was “to what avail?” In excellent health almost her entire life, she became ill with pneumonia and was released for rehabilitation after a brief hospitalization, but did not recover. The last words she spoke to family from her bed before she died also came from her favorite sayings: “Do the best you can with what you have where you are.” She will be inurned with full military honors at 8:30 a.m. November 1st at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran