Aaron Spencer Patterson went to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Wednesday, May 30, 2012.
Aaron was born in Medford, Ore., on Nov. 9, 1969, and lived most of his life in California. In his early years he was very mechanical and athletic. He played ice hockey from age 9 to 15, in the Santa Clara Junior Hockey League and then in the San Mateo Junior Hockey League. He went to hockey school for a week in Saskatchewan, Canada, that first year. When he came back and was picked up at the airport, he seemed to have made a quantum leap growing up.
He no sooner got home than his grandmother asked if he could escort her to Florida to visit her brother. He did a great job.
Aaron became disinterested in hockey and started doing poorly in school. We knew something was wrong but just didn’t know what to do. We finally decided to get Aaron tested privately. When the battery of tests revealed a diagnosis of schizophrenia, we felt we needed a second opinion, which confirmed this diagnosis.
On the one hand, it helped make sense of the previous seven stormy teen years.
Aaron benefited significantly from several key groups. He got connected with the Coastside Mental Health group. It is a very supportive team, and for the last 20 years has really been there for him.
The other key group has been Mariners Church. The people there have accepted Aaron and guided him into his relationship with God. For the last six years, he has been an active member, connecting with others, learning about God, and serving others. Finding God through the loving church family at Mariners Church gave Aaron the best years of his life.
About 1 percent of our population suffers from schizophrenia. It has no cure. There is an exciting new program in San Mateo County called PREP – Prevention and Recovery in Early Psychosis. Although there is no known cure for psychosis, with early detection steps can be taken to reduce its impact and allow the individual to live a normal, prosperous and fulfilling life. Learn more at http://www.prepwellness.org/san_mateo.html.
Aaron is survived by his mother, Melissa Cooper, and his father, John Cooper, and many aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins and friends. He will be missed by all.
A memorial service will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Mariners Church in Half Moon Bay on June 16, 2012, with a reception to follow in the church community center. In lieu of flowers please offer assistance to any homeless people you see when they ask; Aaron did that. You may be their only support and meal that day. Many homeless people suffer from schizophrenia and just are not able to group it together to get the help they need.