Meet Carlton Senior Living spotlight resident, Patrick Dundon – Patrick was born in Borris, Ireland a small village on the River Barrow in County Carlow on September 27, 1920. He was the fourth born of five children to his parents Edward and Maye. Patrick’s father was the town doctor.
Patrick had a good life growing up in Borris and was often found to be getting up to mischief. One day he and his friend Tom Millet decided that they wanted to go shooting and had to sneak his father’s gun out of the house by taking it apart and slipping the parts down the leg of his pants. Another time he and his friends were having a rock fight and Patrick got hit hard in the ear and was knocked out momentarily. After he came to he tried to hide his injury from his mother but his younger brother saw the blood on his ear and started crying with worry and Patrick had to have his wound tended to by his dad.
In 1949 Patrick decided to make his way to the United States. His friend Kevin O’ Kennedy who had immigrated previously was to be married in Pleasant Hill, California. In order to do this Patrick borrowed seventy-five pounds sterling and paid his way aboard a shipping boat called The Irish Pine. The journey took two weeks where he arrived in Baltimore, Maryland.
Shortly after arriving in the United States, Patrick met Terry and it was love at first sight. They met at a party through their friends Kevin and Maureen O’Kennedy and married in 1950, settling in Alameda.
Patrick worked at a bank in Alameda and remembers being shocked when he found out that the woman who was training him and had worked there for years was getting paid less than he was: a man of egalitarian values who was way ahead of his time.
Feeling loyal to his new country he decided to enlist in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and served as an airplane mechanic. During this time their first child, Patrick was born in 1952, followed by Sheila, John, and Chris. After the Air Force, Patrick began his career at Sears on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland. He was the family breadwinner and provided a good life for his family. The family loved to go camping and enjoyed trips to Yosemite National Park, Richardson’s Grove, Calaveras Big Trees State Park and especially Point Reyes National Seashore. Patrick enjoyed gardening and had a family garden while the children were growing up.
At age 59 Patrick decided to start walking for fitness, then progressed to jogging, then running. By the time he was 63 years old, he had run three marathons. He ran the San Francisco Marathon in a record time of three hours and thirty-four minutes-just four minutes shy of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. He continued his commitment and discipline in this matter setting new goals and restarting anew after a setback.
Patrick is a kind and gentle person whose company is enjoyed by all at Carlton Senior Living Pleasant Hill. His son, Chris, and daughter-in-law,Marianne live close by and his children Pat, Sheila and John live in the Monterey area. Patrick has four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. Patrick enjoys music and singing and has a wonderful sense of humor which brightens the day for all of us.
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Written by Mary Ann Ashby