Kenneth (Ken) Weir Paterson
February 5, 1933 – May 6, 2023
It is with the deepest sorrow that we announce the passing of Ken Paterson, beloved husband of Mary, who passed peacefully on the farm while working in his shop on May 6, 2023, at the age of 90.
Ken was born near Eden, Manitoba, on February 5, 1933, the fourth of eight surviving children of William and Margaret (Daisy) Paterson. After several years of struggle during the Depression, the family was able to purchase a farm in the early 1940s which provide much-welcomed stability and opportunity. Ken first left home in 1949 with younger brother Cam to work for Marathon Paper Mills in Thunder Bay, Ontario. After 2 years, the boys returned to Manitoba but in 1953 left again, this time for Alberta. In northern Alberta, Ken found his calling as a driller in the oil exploration industry. His passion and skill for the job took him from Canada’s far north to the badlands of Montana and, in 1974, to the southern edge of the Sahara Desert in West Africa. For 5 years he worked as a drilling superintendent on a project that installed 2500 water wells in towns and villages across northern Ghana, and was humbled by the joy and gratitude of the local people.
In his travels, Ken found many friends and adventures. His greatest find was in a diner in Calgary where, in 1963, he wooed and won the attention of a pretty waitress named Mary. He told his daughters that the $5.00 it cost him to purchase their marriage license was the best money he ever spent. They lived the next 59 years together as best friends and partners in life and business.
After the family returned from Africa in 1979, Ken spent one winter in Alberta’s oil patch before deciding that he was no longer cut out for working outside in minus 40 degrees Celsius. He enacted his retirement plan, which consisted of returning to his home town of Neepawa, purchasing the Neepawa Motel, and joining his brother Dennis in his cow-calf business. For the next 11 years he and Mary operated the motel and he and Dennis worked on the farm. During this time, he was a very proud member of Neepawa’s Rotary Club. In 1991, Ken and Mary sold the motel and retired to the farm where Ken continued to work for several years before selling his share of the farm operation to his nephew Dean.
After this second retirement, Ken and Mary travelled and visited family across Ontario and western Canada. Ken spent many happy hours welding and repairing machinery and creating beautiful furniture in his shop. It is a source of comfort to his family that he passed from life in the place that he loved the most.
Ken was predeceased by his parents William and Margaret, brothers and sisters-in-law Clint (Mary), Gerald (Tina), Argyle (Irene), Cam (Kay), brother-in-law Alan Lea, nephews John, David, Mark and Brian Paterson, brothers-in-law Peter and Steve Misiewich and Bud Zip, and sister-in-law Polly Zip. He leaves behind wife Mary, daughters Diane and Jeannie (Gord), brother Dennis (Helen), sisters Donna Lea and Alice (Gerry) Loewen, brother-in-law Bill (Odette) Misiewich, and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral service will be held at Neepawa First Baptist Church on Friday, May 19, 2023, at 11:00am. Interment will follow at the Riverside Cemetery, with lunch at the Church after the interment.