After being helped to bed by his wife and son, Donald Ario Patterson passed away peacefully in his sleep during the morning of September 8th, 2023. Over the past 18 months he valiantly confronted the trials of ALS, steadfastly maintaining his independence until the very end.
He was born on June 27th, 1953, in Ithaca, New York to James and Harriet Patterson. As his father took a job at Indiana University, he and his brother Robert thus grew up in Bloomington, Indiana. His parents eventually divorced, but Della Jeanne Hays entered his life as a truly amazing stepmother. Don gained two half-siblings Julie and Marshal Patterson.
Always an analytical thinker and fascinated by scientific pursuits, he earned his degree in Physics from Indiana University in 1975. Work eventually led him to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Here three fateful things happened: he earned his pilot’s license in the late 1980’s, he met his wife Maura Wood shortly after, and he became a father to Bradley Patterson on August 5th, 1996. Throughout Don’s life he built a legacy as a scientist, aviator, husband, father, and good friend to many.
A physicist by training, he became an electrical engineer by practice. He designed a variety of sophisticated electronic instrumentations for various research groups at LSU. Don's enthusiasm for his work forged bonds with many colleagues who became close friends to both Don and his family. Don’s interest in tinkering and learning didn’t stop after his 35 years at LSU, retirement allowed him to start his own business, Ario Labs. He truly loved this work and even just weeks before his passing he was still improving upon designs for seismic instrumentation, intended for future Lunar and Martian landers.
As a flight instructor, he guided countless students (including his son) through the process of becoming skilled pilots. As a father and husband, he was always dependable, loving, and caring. Don instilled in his son his same values for both scientific curiosity and his passion for aviation.
We all enjoyed his intelligent conversations, and lighthearted humor. We are inspired by both his loving kindness and strength in the face of adversity.
Don is preceded in death by his father James Patterson, mother Harriet Patterson, and stepmother Jeanne Patterson who all passed in 2014. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Maura Wood; their son Bradley Patterson; mother-in-law Marian Wood; brothers Robert and Marshall Patterson, sister Julie Patterson; nephews James Patterson, Bryn Morgan, and Tristan Morgan; and niece Michael Arnaoutis.
A celebration of the life of Donald Ario Patterson will be held on Saturday, October 7, 2023, at 4:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, 8470 Goodwood Boulevard.
In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials to the ALS Association at donate.ALS.org
The family is preparing a video for Don’s memorial service. If you have photos you would like to share of him, please upload them when signing the online guestbook at www.resthavenbatonrouge.com. The family requests photos be uploaded by Thursday, October 5, 2023, to allow them time for creating the tribute.