Teresa Patterson

Teresa Patterson
March 31, 1917 - June 14, 2013
Teresa Patterson of Costa Mesa passed away peacefully at her home of fifty-eight years on Friday, June 14th.  She was born to William and Soledad Ortiz Paredes on Camulos Ranch, a Mexican land grant near Ojai, on March 31, 1917.  While earning her BA from UCLA, she worked for Henry and Frances Fonda as caregiver to Jane and Peter, and as translator during their extended trip to Mexico in the early 40s where Frances had her portrait painted by Diego Rivera.  Teresa Patterson soon moved on to serve as a translator for the State Department during World War II.  She was awarded her MA in Spanish Literature from USC soon after the war’s end.
    In 1944, she married Vernon Patterson, poet, author, and founding faculty member of Orange Coast College, and they settled on Balboa Island.  In 1955, they moved into the Costa Mesa home where they raised their two sons. 
    A committed educator, Mrs. Patterson transferred to Newport Mesa School District after her marriage.  She instructed students in Spanish, first at Newport Harbor High School and then at Costa Mesa High School for over three decades.  Her love of language and the arts had a lasting impact on the district.
    After retirement from Newport Mesa in 1975 and the death of her husband in 1978, Mrs. Patterson devoted ever more time to fine jewelry-making and her drawing and water color painting, which took her to Mexico, Hawaii, Spain, and England.
    In 1966, Mrs. Patterson re-entered teaching, working in the Spanish Department at Coastline Community College until 2010, well into her 90s.  Ultimately she left a legacy of teaching that spanned seven decades.
Beloved matriarch to her extended family, Mrs. Patterson nurtured devoted friends of all ages.  Mrs. Patterson is survived by her brother, Bill Paredes of Ojai, sons Timothy Patterson of Tucson, Arizona, and Christopher Patterson of South Pasadena, ten grandchildren and six great grandchildren.  A memorial service is planned for late-August.  For more information, contact: 323-478-0967.  In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Homeboy Industries, 130 W. Bruno Street, Los Angeles, 90012.

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