Richard Pattie

Profile Updated: January 8, 2019
Residing In: Hereford, AZ USA
Spouse/Partner: Widower
Occupation: Retired

I was a (very) late bloomer. The truth is, I barely made it out of high school with a C- average. With what is known today I would have probably been diagnosed with ADD, hyperactivity and who knows what else. After graduation I went to East L.A. College for three semesters and had three different majors. I finally threw in the school towel and worked locally while hanging out as much as possible at Winchell's on Tweedy. I didn't have to worry about the draft as I was 4-F because of an early childhood disease. Things began to change for me when I got a call from Art Loya saying he had a job for me in Berkeley if I wanted it. I put all my belongings in my Peugeot 403 (remember when you could put everything you owned into your car?) and took off. Art had left U.C. Berkeley and was working at a little company called Berkeley Instruments. They made stand-alone weather sensing stations for remote and harsh climates. Art and I had an apartment together. The work was cool, prototyping electronic circuits from schematics (I had been a ham radio operator in high school), then I got to do some printed circuit board layout. My downtime was spent at the local slot car racing hangout. I was racing slot cars while SGHS' incredibly courageous Steve Hamilton was starting the youth/free speech movement with Mario Savio at U.C. Berkeley. I was totally unaware of what was going on politically. Like I said, late bloomer.

My sister was an aspiring actress and was doing summer-stock acting at a theatre in Carmel. I drove down to see her one weekend and found that I could relate to actors a whole lot better than engineers. I visited her a couple more times and was offered a job at the theatre. I gave notice at Berkeley Instruments, put all my stuff back into my car and moved to Carmel. I was at White Oaks Theatre for two years and learned to be a lighting technician. It was a great couple of years during which time I eventually started growing up (and finally, at age 20, got laid).

During this time I had been teaching myself classical guitar and over those couple of years in Carmel came to realize that music was what I wanted to do with my life. Loaded up into the Peugeot again and moved back in with my parents who had relocated to Orange County. Found a great guitar teacher and started studying seriously. Enrolled in Cypress College to study music and suddenly school made sense. Immediately found myself on the Dean's list and never looked back after that. After a couple of years, thanks to my incredible guitar teacher, I started teaching at a prep school in Hollywood. Over the next few years my music career took off and I spent the next eighteen years teaching and performing. I taught mostly at local colleges/universities (CSUF, LBCC, Loyola, etc.) as well as at my own studio in Burbank, and at home. Performing was primarily solo, mostly faculty recitals and such, but I also learned to play lute and played in some early music ensembles.

I got married at 35. My wife and I never had children but we tried; as many rounds of fertility treatments as we could afford, but no joy. After eighteen years of teaching I needed a sabbatical, but instead I quit. The most bonehead move I ever made in my life. I remember rationalizing my decision by saying I wanted to finally make some money (very little of that in a musical life), but I was really just burnt out and not thinking clearly. I tried construction (too old to start), then worked in retail jewelry for a few years. I was miserable, and eventually quit and tried to get back into teaching. I had a a few students at home, and then a former student and friend helped me get hired at Cypress College. I had come full circle. My heart was no longer in teaching, though, so after a knock-down dragout argument with my wife (she wanted me to find something I wanted to do and just do it--she clearly didn't understand me) I quit Cypress, went back to school as a student and got an associate degree in computer science.

Thus began my second career, which was a few years in defining. I began as a computer technician, travelling around, tool bag in hand fixing broken medical computer systems. I then got hired at Xerox in their technical training department, writing leader-led courses in printer repair. I lucked into a project at Xerox that allowed me to learn about digital video at its very start, as well as professional multimedia authoring systems. Those skills led me to the Auto Club of So. Cal. for a couple of year, then to Healthnet of California for just a year before they downsized. Used the guilt severance to start as a freelance consultant in multimedia and computer based training (CBT). I worked freelance from home for the next thirteen years. As expected, I did make fairly good money and found I had a need for speed. I raced sailboats, got a private pilot's license, then bought a Porsche 911 which I raced in time trials.

Finally, I went through some really horrendous financial times (goodbye Porsche) and, at age 65, threw in the towel and retired. My wife had come down with a long-term debilitating illness in 2001 and she needed me to be her full-time caregiver, which is what I do today. We live in Seizure World, now incorporated as Laguna Woods in south O.C.

Part of me is still that 17 year old kid hanging out at Winchell’s. I’ve never had such good friends (or so many of them!) as I did then. I wouldn’t say life was carefree, but nothing seemed impossible, and life was mostly an exciting adventure, always unfolding. Nearly all the problems in my life have been self-inflicted, and usually occurred when I followed my head instead of my heart. To all my fellow SGHS summer of ’62 graduates who might read this-friends or not-I want to say I love you guys and it was great to grow up with you.



I was saddened to read of the passing of Dennis Rice and Mariel Brooks. Dennis and I became friends after high school and for a couple of years were thick as thieves. I didn't know Mariel personally, but I had an across-the-campus crush on her for years.


Today is my birthday. I am 70 years old. Behind me are youth, childhood, teenage years, early adulthood, the long adult, middle age, and “older years.” By just about anyone’s standard I am now old. Past are big new shiny things, homes, cars, careers, adventures, vacations, romance, sex, sailing, flying, and racing. All in the past. Today I live in a retirement community and am the 24/7 caregiver to my wife. She has Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis which is nothing like the Multiple Sclerosis that allows people to move around and have lives. What she has causes total physical disability and deep dementia. Our livelihood is from her retirement and my Social Security which, surprisingly, is enough to be comfortable.

Generally, I am not despondent or resentful of my situation. I love my wife and will care for her for as long as I am able. I have found the wonderful hobby of astronomy which has changed my perspective of our importance, and where and who we are. I am not religious, do not believe there is a God up there with any interest in our doings. Our universe is vast beyond comprehension, complex beyond understanding, and filled with truly awesome evidence of its dynamism. What happens after I die is none of my business and I’m fine with that. I have witnessed the sentience of the universe and know it can happen again.

I remain reasonably optimistic and cheerful, surprisingly healthy, and am determined to enjoy the time I have left. I am accepting of this life.

All for now. I hope you are all healthy as horses and live forever!

Semi-Annual Report 6/14/2015

So now at 70-1/2 years still doing Ok. No big health problems, only minor stuff that comes with the territory. My wife continues to decline, but she's in no pain or discomfort and still smiles at my silly jokes. I'm continuing with my astrophotography hobby. I'm not all that good at it, but it keeps my brain happily engaged. If anyone's interested, you can see my images at

Stay strong. Live Long(er) and Prosper!

August 4, 2016
My poor sweet wife, who has been fighting the ravages of primary progressive MS for 15 years, no longer has any fight left. At the urging of several doctors I have reluctantly placed her in home hospice, with a whole team of caregivers to help keep her comfortable until the inevitable happens and the Universe takes her back. We have been married 36 years and I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do without her.

November 6, 2016
My wife, Wyona Pattie, passed away today. Thus starts a new chapter in my life which is not yet written. I'm sad and a bit afraid, but also hopeful and grateful. I had a wonderful 36 years with her and she will be with me always.

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Jan 08, 2019 at 1:24 PM

Posted on: Jan 08, 2019 at 9:59 AM

Happy birthday Claressa. Try to do something you've never done'll be fun, I promise! ;-)
— Richard

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Dec 17, 2018 at 8:28 PM

Posted on: Dec 16, 2018 at 1:33 AM

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Nov 12, 2018 at 8:54 AM

Has anyone heard from Art? I had been in regular contact with him until December 9, 2017. Since then he's been email incommunicado and his phone voicemail box has been full for months. Worried.

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Jul 05, 2018 at 6:51 PM

Posted on: Jul 04, 2018 at 6:00 PM

Greetings. I had misplaced my password for a couple of years, then relocated it today.

In June of 2017 I moved to Sierra Vista, Arizona. The choice of this town was the result of a 2,500 mile search throughout the southwest. I was looking for dark skies for my astrophotography hobby, with a large enough population base to provide the services I need.

For the first year I leased a manufactured home, just to make sure I hadn't made a big mistake moving here, then in April of 2018 I bought a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house 5 miles from the Mexican border on 4 acres of land in Hereford, AZ (SE of Sierra Vista). Hereford is at 4,500' elevation and the land is beautiful long prairie grass. My little house on the prairie. For those of you still under the influence of California real estate prices, please sit down: the house cost $177,000. I've been living here just 3 months now, and I love it and the country. It's definitely rural: a drive to the grocery store is a 40-mile round trip. But, I'm retired and not in any hurry anymore. Arizona is providing the most spectacular sunsets I've ever seen. I've uploaded a couple of photos I took.

So that's me as of today. I'm still healthy (for 73), relatively happy, and very glad to be living in such a beautiful area.

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Dec 16, 2017 at 6:16 AM

Posted on: Dec 16, 2017 at 1:33 AM

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Jan 07, 2017 at 7:39 AM
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Nov 13, 2016 at 11:30 AM

Posted on: Nov 09, 2016 at 9:40 AM

I ran across this photo of Bob Anthony, me, and Ben(jie) Chavez. On the back I wrote that I was 14, which would put it in Jr. High school. No idea where it came from. Pretty cool, though!

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Nov 09, 2016 at 9:32 AM

Posted on: Nov 02, 2016 at 5:23 PM

Cecile, this is just silly (and I'm sure you have no recollection), but in Jr. High school you and I entered a dance contest together. Trouble was, I couldn't dance! You did your best to teach me, but all I could do was sort of jump around. We placed second, mostly because people were sorry for me! — Richard

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Jan 07, 2016 at 10:04 AM

Posted on: Jan 07, 2016 at 7:47 AM

Happy birthday Jim. Best wishes for a great day.

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Jan 08, 2016 at 8:37 AM

Posted on: Jan 07, 2016 at 7:46 AM

Happy HAPPY Birthday Claressa! You're really old now, but so are we! Do something wonderful for yourself today.

Richard Pattie has a birthday today.
Dec 16, 2015 at 1:33 AM
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May 07, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Posted on: Jan 12, 2014 at 6:55 AM

Hi Sue. Best wishes on your birthday. You're an extra bright spot on our reunion web site.

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Posted: Jul 04, 2018 at 8:32 PM