Jack Stewart Paterson
January 30, 1926 – July 1, 2018
Jack Stewart Paterson of San Jacinto, California, passed away at home on Sunday, July 1, 2018, surrounded by his family. He was 92.
Jack was born in Altoona Pennsylvania, on January 30, 1926. His parents were John and Martha Paterson, who were immigrants from Scotland. When Jack was very young, the Paterson family settled in Detroit, Michigan, and Jack was raised on the “east side,” in their two-family flat at 10636 Mack Avenue. His aunt and uncle, Agnes and Peter Stewart lived on the lower level, with his cousin Louise.
Jack graduated from Southeastern High School (now Martin Luther King. Jr. High School), in 1944 and was drafted into the US Army at 18. He was deployed to Europe and served in the US Army during the end of World War II. After his tour ended, he re-enlisted in the US Marine Corps, and was deployed to the Korean War conflict. In 1954, he was honorably discharged and returned home to Detroit, where he was hired as a Police Officer.
Jack served the City of Detroit as a policeman for 25 years and retired as a Lieutenant in 1979. He was a Watch Commander during the 1967 Detroit riots, and he received numerous commendations for bravery during his career.
In 1955, he married Veronica Mancini. They met on a blind date, arranged by Jack’s mother Martha Paterson, who was Veronica’s co-worker, and wanted to fix up Jack with her beautiful coworker, “Ronnie.” Jack was not a Christian at this time, and while they were still dating, his future mother-in-law Laura Mancini cornered him one night in her home and presented the gospel message to him. He later met with the pastor at Ward Memorial Presbyterian Church in Detroit and asked to be baptized. Jack then purposed, and they were joined in Christian marriage at Ward.
Jack and Veronica had four children - Andrea, Diana, Linda, and John. They raised their family in Detroit. In those days police officers were mandated to live within the city limits, and when Ward moved out to the suburbs, Jack and Veronica joined Temple Baptist Church in Detroit. At Temple, he worked for many years with young men in the Christian Service Brigade program, where he was a group leader.
Jack was an enthusiastic camper and took his wife and kids on many beautiful camping trips and vacations across the US.
In 1981, Jack and Veronica moved to California and bought a home in Homeland. They joined the First Baptist Church of Hemet, where Jack was active in EE - the Evangelism Explosion, a Christian evangelism ministry that trains people to share their faith in Christ in a winsome manner.
Jack loved children, and after moving to California, he became a school bus driver for the Homeland School District. He drove a school bus for seven years, before retiring for the second time in 1988.
Jack loved God, his family, the United States, dogs, and baseball. He enjoyed playing the organ and loved to tell jokes, but more than anything he loved his wife, Veronica. They were married for 62 years.
In 2015 Jack and Veronica joined Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Hemet.
In 2016, Jack and Veronica lost their only son, John Paterson (Annette), when he was killed in a tragic off-road vehicle accident.
Jack is survived by his wife, Veronica (Mancini), his three daughters - Andrea McLellan (David), Diana Brewer, and Linda Collins (Frank), 11 grandchildren - Kelly Deckard (Jeremy), Scott McLellan (Atara), Esther Brewer, Adrienne Brewer, Blake Brewer, Emily Collins, Zachary Collins (Jodi), Annabelle Collins, Jennifer Paterson (Anthony Rea), John Paterson (Bridgette), Christina Paterson (Cesar Huizar), eleven great-grandchildren - Jeremiah Deckard, Jacklyn McLellan, Makayla McLellan, Jacob McLellan, Jenessa Rea, Bubbas Rea, Joseph Paterson, Isabella Paterson, John Christopher Paterson, Eveliene Huizar, and Joziah Huizar.
Jack’s love for God and his wonderful spirit and talents will be celebrated at a memorial service on Friday, July 20, 2018, at 11:00 am, at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Hemet. The private burial will be Monday, July 23, 2018, at 9:30 am, at Riverside National Cemetery.