Donald (Don) William Patterson
July 24, 1943 – May 21, 2024

Written and Posted by Robert Patterson

It pains me greatly to have to share with you all that my dad, Don, passed away early Tuesday morning May 21st, 2024, after a short battle with cancer. Already I must thank everyone for the wonderful things you’ve all said to me about him, it has been incredibly comforting.

Everyone that has ever worked with him, played music with him, or simply met him, loved and respected him enormously. He was an incredible man and lived an amazing life filled with adventure, friends, music and love. Everything that I am, I owe to him.

I learned how to listen to music through him. I’ll always remember riding around in our brown Chevy pickup truck when I was little, listening to music (mostly Commander Cody and Asleep At The Wheel) and learning how to hear the different parts, instruments, and harmonies, something that is still an integral part of my life to this day.

He could be gruff and stubborn as hell sometimes but was truly one of the kindest, most compassionate and generous people you could ever meet. He loved feeding the critters that lived outside the house. I’m sure all of the chipmunks, squirrels, birds and the odd fortunate stray cat that live out there will miss him as much as we all will. I learned early in life to never kill a spider when you find one in the house; he’d always catch it and put it safely outside. When I returned home from the hospital this morning I was greeted by a huge spider on my floor (something you just never see in my apartment) and I’m sure he had something to do with that… I didn’t boot it out though, he can stay.

In his professional life he was an unsurpassed talent, as I’m sure everyone that worked with him knows well. If a job needed to get done, he was the guy to go to, no matter what the situation. It was a career that brought him so many fantastic experiences. From the biggest news events of our times to huge productions that he was so proud to have worked on. Too many to mention. Working together was always a ton of fun and growing up at CJOH-TV with him was no small part of the amazing childhood he gave me.

While this is our sadness to bear, I’m sure he is happy and whole again somewhere with my mum, the love of his life, probably boating together as they used to love to do, on some ethereal river with the currents always in their favour.

My Dad was a brilliant, loving, talented man with a fantastic sense of humour. A better dad than anyone could ever hope to have. I will miss him deeply forever.

Thanks to all of the doctors, nurses and staff at the General hospital for all the care and comfort they provide.

There will be a small gathering at the Hulse, Playfair & McGarry Funeral Home, 315 McLeod Street on Wednesday May 29th from 4 to 6 pm. I hope to see you all there, and thank you all for the lovely words and support that you’ve sent my way already.

2002.03.01 – Ottawa Citizen

A Lifetime of Friendship and Broadcasting
Randy Maahs – Pembroke Observer; Pembroke, Ont. 17 Aug 2013

CKCO-TV – Don Patterson – Randy Maahs

Fifty years ago this summer a friendship and television career started for two local 19-year-old Ottawa Valley boys. CHOV-Television Channel 5 is where our story starts. This is where local boys Don Patterson and Randy Maahs met in the summer of 1963.

Ottawa Valley Broadcasting Company Ltd. Headed by Gordon Archibald opened the studios on August 19, 1961. Don, from Petawawa, was the first to start his career in August of 1963. Randy from Pembroke, followed about one month later and was trained by Don.

Don heard about an open position at CHOV-TV from friend Fred Ellis who worked part-time that summer at the TV station. Don was interviewed by Brook Duval and was hired. Don was also busy playing bass guitar in their band from Petawawa called The Runarounds. The band played at high school graduations and local hotels.

Randy, thanks to his dear mother Emgard Maahs (nee Schroeder) from Silver Lake and Aunt Evelyn O’Brien, who heard about the job, and convinced Randy to apply. He was working at the shook mills and before that, during his school years, worked part-time for Brums Dairy and Crane Supply.

In the fall of 1962 and spring of 1963, Randy worked in a logging camp on the Barron River near Stratton Lake in Algonguin Park for jobber Norman Pilatzke. He enjoyed working with uncles and cousins and probably it was the best experience he had in his life. This TV job was very new to him.

Don’s father was in the military in Camp Petawawa and served in the Korean War. Don always dreamed of working in TV production and this was his big start. The friends read CBC-TV training books together and learned more about studio lighting, camera operation, audio, video tape recorder and telecine (film &slide).

They worked with many good people and did shows like Hilltop with Roger Stanion and like Mac Beattie and the Melodiers, hosted by Pat Leonard. Randy said it was quite challenging doing audio and camera on these productions.

“Microphones were limited to mix the show but challenging and I remember my dad saying how good it sounded when Don or I mixed the music. I was raised on country music so I loved it. We also only had one camera. You had to move around zoom and focus a lot to make your moves look good,” Randy said.

Also, the duo remember the Hilltop show that had an appearance by Canadian music icon Gordon Lightfoot. Randy remembers well a Friday night in 1963 on CBC National News when anchor Earl Cameron introduced a film about a music group in England — “The Beatles”. Randy enjoyed the music and the next day (Saturday morning) went downtown before his noon shift and looked for the Beatles new album at Jim McAllum’s music shop. He found Beatlemania and played it over the Indian Head test pattern pre-Hilltop Dance Party show which aired at 1 p.m. Everyone loved the music and called in wondering who this group was. Don always joked that Randy helped introduce the Beatles to the Valley.

The pair worked with many good people in their first years at CHOV-TV and they thank guys like Don Chant, Bill Logan and Marcel Martel for their help in training them. After a little more than a year, Don applied and went to CKSO-TV Sudbury in October of 1964. He gained more experience there but again he came back to the Valley in early 1965 and worked part-time at the Shook Mills. He heard about an opening at CHOV Radio for an operator and applied for the job. Don worked there for a few months and then, through a friend from CKCO-TV Kitchener, he heard about a job there, applied and started working at CKCO-TV in September of 1965.

CKCO-TV – Don Patterson – Randy Maahs

About one month later a job opened up and he told his buddy Randy to apply for the job in Kitchener. His other close buddy Bill Logan,who still worked at CHOV-TV, drove him down to Kitchener one weekend. Randy had an interview and was hired. So the two buddies continued their careers and soon after began living in their first apartment.

“CKCO-TV had two big studios, three studio cameras and a mobile bus with a control room, four cameras and we did many university sports, church services and hockey, football. The cameras were still old GE black and white. We received new colour Phillip cameras and learned all about how to work with colour equipment,” Randy said.

CKCO-TV Master Control – Don Patterson, Randy Maahs, Carl Rogala, Marvin Stroh, Gareth Lewis. Sitting Skip Haybarger and Phil Priestman

Being from the Valley, Randy loved country music. He worked on the Gary Buck Country Music Show and he did the audio along with Don.The Gary Buck Show also included the Mercy Brothers and Donna Ramsey. “We had many famous entertainers from Nashville and Canada and gained a lot of experience. Here at CKCO-TV in Kitchener we worked with many talented people and had to do all the difficult jobs in the business so this helped us with our next move to CJOH-TV in Ottawa,” Randy said.

Don applied and got the job there in the fall of 1968 and Randy again was told by Don to apply for an opening. “I had an interview soon after. (I) picked up my mom in Pembroke and she drove down to Ottawa to keep me company. I went for the interview and because of my experience got the job. That was September of 1968.”

After about one year the duo were both working on big productions at CJOH-TV. They both worked on the Galloping Gourmet cooking show with Graham Kerr. This show, at that time, was the most watched cooking show around from 1968 to 1971. Other cooking shows followed -Celebrity Cooks with Bruno Gerusi, and Wok with Yan for CBC. Local shows included Willy and Floyd, You Can’t Do that on Television, Kreskin and Homegrown Cafe.

Over the years, other productions they worked on included Both Sides Now with David Wiffen and Anne Mortify, Strange Paradise, the CHEO Telethon, NHL Senators Hockey, Shh! It’s the News, World Cup Hockey, CTV Figure Skating across Canada, CFL Football, Roller Derby- Grand Prix and Blue Jays and Expos Baseball for TSN, ABC, and NBC.

They also worked on the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal shooting the team handball competition and in 1988 at the Calgary Winter Olympics, shooting cross-country skiing and the biathlon. Randy covered the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics and the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo with Lloyd Robertson.

In the 1990’s, Brian Smith had a sports hot seat show at CJOH-TV. “One night, Johnny Bower and Jacque Plante were on. After the taping, we go upstairs for some refreshments. There, my friend Serge Vallieres and I are having a beer talking to these two legend goaltenders and watching this new kid, Wayne Gretzky on TV,” Randy said.

He was also privileged to work on Wayne Gretzky’s last game as a New York Ranger. The game was in Ottawa against the Senators and Randy was on an isolated camera that followed Gretzky for the entire game.

In the fall of 1979, Don left CJOH to freelance for two years at different production companies and Crawley Films. Then in 1981, another job opening drew Don back to CJOH-TV. He and Randy did the same camera jobs, studio shows, EFP productions and remote production.

Don went to the North Pole with sound man Phil Brower for Good Morning America who were doing a feature on some USA explorers travelling there on foot. He also travelled to Ireland with Mike O’Reilly and Robbie Dagenais from Eganville doing a story on fiddle playing in the two countries.

Randy was also busy in 1982 on a trip to Nassau, Bahamas with his buddies Garry Tobin and Kim Krueger doing interviews with wealthy Canadians living there. Bill Luxton and Margaret Trudeau were hosts of the morning show at CJOH. Then in 1987 it was off to Jamaica to do interviews at different tourist locations with hosts Bill Luxton and Linda Feige of the morning show.

Randy’s favourite trip was in 1983 and 1984, working on a fishing show at Arctic Circle Lodge on Great Bear Lake. It was for ABC’s Wide World Sports on CTV with Denis Potvin of the New York Islanders.

Through their careers, the pair worked on many country music shows including Mac Beatty and the Melodiers, The Gary Buck Show, Ray Griff Show, Family Brown Country, Wayne Rostad Country, Spirit of the Country with Ronnie Prophet and Bobby Lalonde and did a video for guitarist Steve Piticco. The duo put together a video for Delmer and Cecil – Meadow Muffin Blues and Don enjoyed working with director Dick Cooper of the Cooper Brothers Band on a TV series – Denim Blues.

After a layoff in 1997, Randy was bumped into the news department and became an ENG (Electronic News Gathering) cameraman. It proved to be a blessing because he got to work with Joel Haslam, Michelle Dubois and then Kathie Donovan on the weekly show Regional Contact. He met many wonderful artists, carvers, sculptors, etc. On the show and in 2001, Randy was nominated for a Canadian Society of Cinematographers Award with a video from Regional Contact titled “Ode to Fall” that featured Steve Piticco and his guitar.

Randy was nominated nine years in a row for the Stan Clinton News Essay Award. He won three awards with Regional Contact. His first award in 2003 was a video of logging with horses in the Golden Lake area with friend Alex McGrath and cousin Frankie Schroder.

In 1993, Randy met with Harold Garton when his book Hockey Town Canada came out. He wanted to do a documentary on hockey history in Pembroke. He got a grant from CHOH and CHRO-TV. With his son Jeffrey’s help , they went to Pembroke for one week of interviews with Senior Lumber King players of the 1950’s. With the help of writer Dorothy Dickie and other TV friends, he directed the story line, edited the documentary and the show was aired on December 28, 1993 which coincidentally was the same night 100 years ago, the first documented game was played in Pembroke.

Randy was proud to work on this production as his father Ted Maahs took him to most of the Senior Lumber King games when he was young. The host of the show was Jack Donohue.

After 40 years at CJOH-TV, Randy retired in 2008, when he turned age 65. Don and Randy have wonderful memories after 50 years and were blessed to have met so many good people. They still are close friends and meet for coffee often.

Randy has slowed down a little with macular degeneration and a cataract in one eye. He enjoys soapstone carving every Thursday at Indian Trail Carvings. He is also a stay at home husband with wife, Julia. Weekends in the summer are spent at their cottage at Golden Lake photographing sunsets. Always a cameraman – he still loves to look through that lens. The couple has three children, two boys and one girl.

Don’s hobbies are playing his guitar every day at home with wife Heather as well as video editing on his computer. Summer time is spent with friends in their boat on the Rideau River. The couple has one son.