In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


Donald John Patton


Lieutenant, RCN(R)


Born: 21 Apr 1943


Died: 02 Dec 2022, Toronto, Ontario


PATTON, Donald John - It is with great sadness we announce that Donald Patton (79) passed away peacefully with loved ones at his side on Friday, December 2, 2022. His passing resulted from complications following cancer surgery, at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario over a four-month period.


Donald was born in Point-a-Pierre, Trinidad, to John and Isabel Patton, on April 21, 1943.


Donald was a loving husband to his late wife Barbara (1967-1999) and to Linda, whom he married in 2007.


Donald was father to Katherine Patton of Toronto, Elizabeth Patton (Simon Trépanier) of Edinburgh, and Andrew (Gillian) Patton of Edmonton; step-father to Stephen (Sarah) Ross of Charlottetown and Ashley (Jeffery) Zahavich of Halifax; grandfather to Barbara, Maeve, and Fiona Simms of Toronto, Madeleine and Laurent Trépanier of Edinburgh, Oliver, Elijah, and Isaac Patton of Edmonton, Collin Ross of Charlottetown, and Roslyn, Esme, and Wrenley Zahavich of Halifax; brother to Anita Carrier of Montreal and Joan Siwik of Maxville; uncle to many nieces and nephews, friend and mentor to countless others.


As a child, Donald moved with his family to Canada in 1951, first to Toronto, and then to Montreal. He studied economics at University of New Brunswick (Honours 1965), where he met his first wife Barbara, along with many life-long friends. He joined the Royal Canadian Naval Reserves (Lieutenant) and later retired in 1965. He received his MA in economics in 1967 from the University of Toronto, and his DBA from Indiana University in 1973.


Early in his academic career Donald taught in Tunisia and Montreal before moving with his growing family to Halifax in 1975. There he was founding director of the Centre for International Business at Dalhousie University; he built his career as a Professor in the School of Business, serving a term as Director. Halifax is also where he and Barbara raised their three children in a community of truly good friends, whom they regarded as family.


From 1980 - 1982, Donald took a leave from Dalhousie University and moved his family to Jakarta, Indonesia, where he served as a Trade Commissioner in the Canadian Embassy. He also taught for six summers at the University of Zimbabwe in the 1980s, on one occasion bringing his family. These international experiences built strong memories with Barbara and their children.


In Halifax, Donald’s appreciation of historic buildings and good urban planning led him to work with the Friends of the Public Gardens, the Old Burying Ground, and to serve as President of Heritage Trust (Nova Scotia). He had a long history of camping and canoeing going back to his childhood, that he continued through a series of legendary annual camping trips with his children and good friends.


Upon his retirement, in 2006, Donald moved to Charlottetown, PEI to be with Linda. Donald’s love of camping and adventure was reignited when they bought their beloved 16’ Airstream trailer. They spent many happy summers exploring Canada and the United States (from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island and from Yukon to the Grand Canyon). He continued to contribute to his new community through several volunteer positions, including President of the Royal Commonwealth Society, board member of the McPhail Homestead, Chair of the Institute for Architectural Studies and Conservation, and Chair of the Old Protestant Burying Ground. For this work, he received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.


Donald will forever be remembered for his warm and welcoming personality, impeccable conversation skills, love of history, appreciation of good architecture and his knack for capturing each ‘part of the story’ in photographs.


The family wishes to send a special thank you to the staff at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto Ontario and to Dr. Jeff Craswell, Charlottetown, PEI for their care and compassion.


Visitation will be held at Belvedere Funeral Home (175 Belvedere Ave, Charlottetown) on Sunday, December 11th from 2-5pm. A funeral service will be held at Park Royal United Church (11 Christie Dr, Charlottetown) on Monday, December 12th at 11:00 AM. The church will be livestreaming this service.


Memorial Donations may be made in Donald Patton’s name to Island Nature Trust and the Canadian Cancer Society. Family flowers only.


Ships served in:


HMCS FORT ERIE - Served in FORT ERIE in 1961

HMCS SWANSEA - Served in SWANSEA in 1962


* Released 1965


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