Donald Patterson, 95, of Topeka, passed away Monday, February 10, 2020.
He was born August 1, 1924, in College View, Nebraska, the son of Charles and Ruth (Swingle) Patterson. He graduated with his A.B. (Political Science) from the University of Nebraska in 1947 where he held Scholastic Honors with Phi Beta Kappa. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan in 1950.
He served with the United States Army. He served overseas for six months in the European Theatre. He was a member of a medium tank crew, serving as driver and gunner.
As a founder and senior partner for Fisher, Patterson, Sayler and Smith, he had many areas of practice: Product Liability Litigation, Drug and Medical Device Litigation, Employment and Civil Rights Litigation and Business Litigation.
He was a member of many professional activities including a member of the Kansas Bar Association, Litigator’s Master Roundtable 1990 (faculty of Kansas College of Trial Advocacy and faculty of NITA Advocacy Program), American Bar Association, Topeka Bar Association (President from 1974-75), Kansas Association of Defense Counsel (Charter Member, Secretary (1966-73), President (1973-74), International Association of Defense Counsel (faculty, International Association of Defense Counsel Trial, Academy, Boulder, CO (1984), Defense Research Institute (subcommittee Chairman, Currents Trends in Judicial Decisions, Product Liability Committee), American Judicature Society, member and State Chairman, U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society (1989-91), American Arbitration Association, Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers (1975- ), Listed in “Best Lawyers in America” (1983- )(Personal Injury Litigation), Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC), Kansas Bench Book Committee (1975-84), Kansas Supreme Court Nominating Commission (1979-1989), and Kansas Board of Discipline Attorneys (1980-83).
Donald was a primary author of Defense Research Monograph “Expert Testimony” and The Defense Litigation. He also was the co-author of numerous books. He was the winner of the 1996 Yancey Memorial Award, IADC and winner of the first annual DRI Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Professions, DRI (1997).
He was on the board of directors for the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado for over 25 years.
Donald was a member of First Presbyterian Church since 1950 serving as Elder, Trustee, Deacon and a part of the choir. He was one of the founding members of the men’s Wednesday bible study.
He was an avid Nebraska Husker Fan his whole life. He also loved spending time with family and will be greatly missed.
Donald married Mary Verink on August 10, 1947 in Lincoln, NE, she survives. Other survivors include daughter, Nancy (Bruce) Chapman; sister, Marilyn Baer, six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and son, Bruce Donald Patterson.
A Funeral Ceremony will be at 2:00 p.m., Monday, February 17, 2020 at the First Presbyterian Church, 817 SW Harrison St., Topeka. The family will greet friends and hour prior to service time. Private burial will take place at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church 817 SW Harrison St. Topeka, KS 66612, Brewster Place 1205 SW 29th Topeka, KS 66611.
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