Alister Cummings Paterson | Passages

Alister Cummings Paterson | Passages

Alister Cummings Paterson passed away on April 16, 2018. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, the son of Alex and Ann (MacKinnon) Paterson. Alister led a full and exuberant life as a master craftsman and builder, UK special forces Paratrooper (Paras), and a kilt-wearing highland regiment soldier who served during the Suez Crisis. An avid baker, known for his puff pastry par excellence, legendary steak pie and his famous cloutie dumpling, which made an appearance thankfully just once a year at the holidays. Renowned for his specialized craftsmanship on many of the most beautiful and iconic houses in Los Angeles, elevating them with his old-world artistry of stunning crown moldings, decorative fireplaces, groined ceilings, etc.

The St. Andrew’s Cross flag could be seen far and wide, fluttering high atop the tallest parapet of his former home (Castle) he built in Redondo Beach, California. A home so uniquely remarkable as to have been profiled on television. It is now a much sought after catered events’ venue. Those who met Alister couldn’t ignore him, they may have loved him or were challenged by him (or both) but they never forgot him.

A social spirit, Alister shared a deep joy of Scottish country dancing with his wife Dina participating for many years on San Juan Island in a group taught by his brother Bill Paterson. He once finished second in a highland fling competition, although there were only two competitors. Possessing a passion for all things Scottish from music to meat pies, fishy milk and especially the beer (of which he was a connoisseur) and single malt whiskeys of which he amassed a large collection which remain mostly unopened.

Hailing from a Scottish family of distinguished highland dancers, if he hadn’t been so busy building castles he might have followed in their footsteps. Perhaps most of all he adored singing and harmonizing. Hale and hearty at the break of day he always greeted the dawn with a song. As part of the San Juan Island Barber Shop Singers, he made many friends.

He was a firm believer in regular oil changes, taking vitamins daily and basking like a lizard in the sun. He was a consummate craps player who loved numbers and tried his best to educate family and friends on the mysteries of the game. “Big Red” was his holy grail and he was getting closer all the time. His other holy grail was a quest to find the best fish & chips in the world, something he pursued with joyful relentlessness. He was profoundly moved by the beauty of San Juan Island and often sat enjoying the great expanses of ocean.

Alister will be dearly missed and remembered by a large clan and his wife of nearly 30 years, Dina O’Sullivan; brother, Bill Paterson and sister, Avril Anderson; his four children: John (Anna) Paterson, David Paterson, Donna Windle, Gail (Kevin Green); step-children: Eviane Ita Coton and Jesse Stagg; grand Children: John, James, Nicole, Crystal, Shawna, Douglas, Sammi, Amrita: and great grandchildren Kai, Royce, Merrick, Cameron, Jeremiah (and hopefully more to come): nephews and nieces.

Alister was usually cheerful and happy from when he’d wake to when he reluctantly had to leave. He loved life and he loved people. He just loved! Hope you’ve found that perfect fish and chips Alister and that it’s served with your favorite pub malt vinegar. We love you. Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel of Anacortes, Washington. To share a memory of Alister please sign the online guest register at