Douglas Robert PatenaudeDouglas Robert Patenaude, age 52, of East Grand Forks, MN, died at his home late Saturday evening, May 4, 2013, of natural causes. Doug had been in ill health for several years. He was born in Crookston, Minnesota on August 22, 1960, the son of Robert Dean and Ellen Theresa (Fortier) Patenaude. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Anne's Catholic Church, and received his education at Carmen Elementary School, Highland Middle School, and Central High School, graduating in 1978. He earned an Associate Degree in Mechanics from Bemidji (MN) Technical College, and later in life a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. As a 17-year old high school junior, Doug enlisted in the National Guard. In 1980, he was inducted into the U.S. Air Force where he served in Korea and at several United States Air Bases. In 1989, Doug was critically injured in a bicycle/car accident while stationed at Hill Air Force Base, Ogden, UT. Subsequently, he received a medical discharge from the Air Force in 1990 with the rank of SSG-T. After several months of very specialized hospital care in Salt Lake City, UT, he was transferred to the VA Hospital in Minneapolis. With additional recovery time, Doug was able to return to Crookston to live with his parents. He later purchased a home in East Grand Forks, and had been living independently to the present time.
In spite of physical limitations, Doug lived a full and active life. He was a devoted member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in East Grand Forks, where he served as a Eucharistic Minister and participated in the Men's Prayer Group. He was a member of East Grand Forks VFW Post 3817 and East Grand Forks American Legion Post 157. Doug was especially proud of his Life Membership in the DAV (Disabled American Veterans), and the distinction of serving as North Dakota Commander during 2004-05. He enjoyed visits with his mother, and time spent with brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews. The camaraderie of fellow Air Force veterans, and those who served in other branches of the military, played a large role in Doug's life, and he was very proud of his service to his Country.