Passion for outdoors led to 'dream job'
By Tony LaRussa
Published: Saturday, June 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Whether he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, skiing in South America or scaling the summit of Mt. McKinley in Alaska, Craig Patterson loved the outdoors and the life of an adventurer.
His passions eventually led to a “dream job” seven years ago as an avalanche forecaster for the Utah Department of Transportation, his mother said.
“He knew there were risks involved, but he accepted them,” said Donna Patterson of Franklin Park.
Craig Patterson of Park City, Utah, died in an avalanche on Thursday, April 11, 2013, while gauging snow conditions on a mountain slope above the Big Cottonwood Canyon highway outside Salt Lake City. He was 34.
A 1997 graduate of North Allegheny High School, Mr. Patterson attended Miami University of Ohio, where he graduated with a degree in geology in 2001.
Mr. Patterson moved to Alaska to work as an avalanche instructor and guide, where he met his wife. The couple moved to Utah, where Mr. Patterson worked as a mountain guide and for a manufacturer of climbing and skiing equipment until landing a job with the state's transportation department.
Mr. Patterson also taught avalanche education classes for Utah Mountain Adventures, a private company that provides guides and instruction for people interested in rock climbing, skiing and other outdoor activities.
Patterson said her son began to “fall in love” with skiing and outdoor adventures when the family moved to Lausanne, Switzerland, for her husband's job with Alcoa.
“Craig was 4 years old and learned to ski there,” his mother said. “When we moved back to the Pittsburgh area during junior high, he loved going on school bus trips to ski at Seven Springs and to the different places his dad took him to go skiing.”
Mr. Patterson's love for outdoor adventure was surpassed only by his devotion to his family and friends, his mother said.
“He was a great husband and father,” she said. “And he touched so many lives with his friendship. It was amazing to see the hundreds of people who attended a memorial that was held in Utah after Craig died.”
Mr. Patterson is survived by his wife, Renae, and their daughter, Kaya, 6, of Park City, Utah; his parents, Lewis and Donna Patterson of Franklin Park; and a sister, Lauren Ralph of Delmar, N.Y.
A Mass will be celebrated for Mr. Patterson at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 22, at SS. John and Paul Catholic Church on Wexford Bayne Road in Franklin Park. A memorial service will follow at 10:30 a.m. in the parish hall.
Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7987 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kovacevic: Panic over Pirates? In April?
- Crash victim dies day after ‘horrific’ wreck in Armstrong County
- Pens insider: Penalty killing a concern in Stanley Cup playoffs
- Undersized rookie Gibbons is blur on ice for Penguins
- Rice cornerback among 3 draft prospects to visit Steelers
- Deer Lakes Park drilling debate veers into ethics complaint
- Man found shot twice, dead in Larimer
- Penn State has hand in discovery of most Earth-like planet yet
- LaBar: WWE needs to be careful with Cesaro plans
- Penguins’ Bylsma and Blue Jackets’ Richards know each other well
- Murrysville woman sues Giant Eagle over burns