Navajo Code Talker Patterson Passes Away At 94, “He Was Brave Until The Very End”

Navajo Code Talker David Earl Patterson [Photo from Gofundme]

Navajo Code Talker David Earl Patterson, Sr. passed away on Sunday, October 8, 2017, at the age 94. Mr. Patterson died of complications from pneumonia and a subdural hematoma.

Funeral services will be conducted in Shiprock, NM at Christ The King Catholic Church. The date and time are yet to be determined.

A GoFundMe account was set-up to help Mr. Patterson’s family offset funeral costs.

His son, Pat Patterson, wrote on the Gofundme page:

My beloved father and Navajo Code Talker, David Earl Patterson, Sr. passed away this morning at 2:42a.m. October 8th, 2017. He lost a battle with pnuemonia and a fall that caused a sub-dural hematoma (brain bleed). He was brave until the very end, but was just not strong enough to overcome this battle.

We will all miss you and cherish you for all of eternity. You were my father, my hero, my mentor and my bowling partner, I will love you forever and always.

Those who were close to him knew he was a devoted catholic, he loved bingo, baseball (Los Angeles Dodgers) and was an avid bowler, a passion in which he enjoyed doing until the very end.

For those who may not have known, my father served our country during WWII in the USMC as a Navajo Code Talker from 1943-1945, he was Honorably Discharged on April 7th of 1945. He was among an Elite group of Marines who helped create the only unbroken code in modern military history. As one of the Navajo Code Talkers, my father and other Navajos coded and decoded classified military dispatches during WWII using a code derived from their native tongue. The Code Talkers took part in every Marine assault, from Guadalcanal in 1942 to Okinawa in 1945, including the Marshall Islands, ROI & Namur Islands, the Kwajalein Atoll, Iwo Jima, and Saipan, and were key in the United States winning the war.

After he was discharged from the USMC, my father went to college in Oklahoma and New Mexico, becoming a social worker. He married and raised his family in Oklahoma, California and on the reservation in Shiprock, N.M., he worked for the Navajo Nation’s Division of Social Services until retiring in 1987. He was awarded the Silver Congressional Medal of Honor on November 24, 2001 and up until 2012 volunteered in a Shiprock, NM school on the Navajo Reservation as a foster grandparent. He lived with his youngest son in Rio Rancho, NM from 2012 until his passing in 2017.

Mr. Patterson was recognized & acknowledged by the 2011 Connie Mack World Series Committee

8 Comments on "Navajo Code Talker Patterson Passes Away At 94, “He Was Brave Until The Very End”"

  1. Mike Putfus | October 9, 2017 at 8:58 am |

    Hozho Walk in beauty Grandfather.

  2. Virginia Faye Knoki June | October 9, 2017 at 10:41 am |

    The Great American has joined a special place in our hearts.,especially in mine and loved ones who know the essence of Life, Liberty, and continuing to pursue Freedom for the United States of America. My husband, Sgt.Allen Dale June, Congressional Gold Medalist returned to his Maker, and collect his just reward Sept.2010.,as did Mr.Patterson.Blessings to your Loved ones. You will be missed. With respect.,Ms.Virginia Faye Knoki June

  3. Bless you Mr.Patterson, your service will never be forgotten. Semper Fi Marine. Rest in Peace my brother.

    The number of Code Talkers is rapidly dwindling. All part of the greatest generation that served their country out of respect and loyalty. Unlike today’s scum.

  4. Gordo Seven | October 9, 2017 at 1:15 pm |

    Present Arms

  5. Thanks, Marine—Semper Fi!

  6. Working Man Blues | October 9, 2017 at 3:40 pm |

    WWII veterans were the greatest generation this country has ever seen. God bless you and your family Sir.

  7. Les Fairbanks | October 10, 2017 at 5:19 am |

    R.I.P. Mr. Patterson and may God Bless you for what you and your fellow code talkers did for our Country. I have been in the room in the Gallup, NM Chamber of Commerce building where the code talkers meet. The last time I was there was in Aug.. It was an honor just to be in the same room where they gathered.

  8. Another Marine, a special Marine, has gone to guard heaven’s gates. May he rest in peace. A grateful nation honors him.

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