Dorothy Claire Mackasey Patterson, Casey to all who knew her, passed on March 31, 2020 in Big Bear Lake. Born February 4, 1920, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Dr. William P. & Pearl (Cavanaugh) Mackasey. Casey was a twin, although her brother Bobby died at age 3. Educated at Mount St. Vincent Academy – a Catholic Boarding School, she was often in trouble with the nuns. She channeled her energies into French, piano, theater, and dance, and graduated class valedictorian.
She was orphaned at 15 when her parents died just months apart. Casey trained as a nurse to honor her father, but never really heard the calling. She moved to Montreal, worked for Air Canada, and “had a ball.” She relocated with the airlines to Toronto where she met her future husband, William A “Pat” Patterson.
Pat was transferred to Prestwick, Scotland, and when he proposed via long distance phone, she flew into his arms and they married there. First daughter Diane was born in Scotland, and second daughter Jo was born after they returned to Montreal, Canada. Twin daughters Dottie and Debbie soon followed. They immigrated to California with four babies, all under the age of three, in 1952. They became citizens of the U.S. in 1957, just after son Tim was born.
That is also the year they discovered Big Bear Lake. They missed the four seasons, the mountains and lakeside living. They bought property here and began building immediately. Every weekend and all summer long for years the family worked on the cabin, eventually making it a full-time home. Casey lived in Big Bear for over 50 years. She was a snow skier and water skier, and she loved dancing and traveling the world. Pat & Casey owned Patterson Mountain Marine and they built the Bear City Laundromat. They were very involved with the Snow Summit Race Team, the Elks and the early days of the MWD. She was active in the Republican Women’s Club, St. Joseph Catholic Church, Meals on Wheels, and several Community Theater groups.
Always fun and flirty, she’d ask anyone to dance and could boogie with the best of them, as she did on her 100th birthday. She also lied about her age shamelessly. When told she looked good for her age, she’d saucily retort “I look good for any age.” Friendly, outgoing, hilariously straightforward but kind, she never gossiped and if you told her a secret, she took it with her. Casey was known for her keen sense of humor and sharp wit. When asked what the secret to her long life was, she said, “A sense of humor, dancing, traveling, wine and a few good men!”
Preceded in death by husband Pat Patterson in 1979, and subsequent beau Dick Lofthus in 2016. Also, sadly lost was daughter-in-law Devne Barrus Patterson in 2006.
Dearly loved and greatly missed by her devoted family; daughters Diane (Mike) Davis, Joanne (Ade) Salzer, Dottie (Ken) Saville of Big Bear Lake, Debbie (Bruce L.) Plopper and son Tim Patterson. Also, grandchildren Kim Strategier of Big Bear Lake, Keri (Brenden) Strategier-Burnside, Heather (Ted) Salzer-DeVito (Big Bear City), Kae Salzer, Pam (Chris) Jessen, Kirk Davis, John L. Plopper, Kelly Plopper, Brian (Jennifer) Patterson and Michael Patterson. Known as Gigi to her seven great grandchildren Cayden and Finley DeVito of Big Bear City, Maddi and Bodhi Jessen, Walker and Brooklynn Burnside and Evelyn Patterson. She also leaves her Canadian nephews Phillip Mackasey, Patrick Mackasey, Ken Phillips and Stephen Phillips and her niece Kathy Phillips-Gregory.
A joyful Irish Wake is planned for summer in Big Bear Lake. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Casey Patterson’s name to Bear Valley Community Hospital District Foundation, POB 6142, BBL 92135. It was there, in the SNF, where she was lovingly cared for during her last weeks.