Obituary of Father Ron Patnode - Archived

by Msgr. Robert Siler
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Click here for the Homily for Mass of Christian Burial for Fr. Patnode

Mass of Resurrection Homily for Fr. Ron Patnode

Ronald Joseph Patnode was born on July 23, 1935 to Joseph Edward and Zelia Amelia (Goulet) Patnode in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Yakima. He died early Sunday morning, November 24, 2013, completing his journey home to the Lord on the Solemnity of Christ the King at Cottage in the Meadow in Yakima.

Viewing and Vigil Services will be held Monday, December 2, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church, 5315 Tieton Drive, Yakima. Mass of Christian Burial is Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church. Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery.

Fr. Ron lived and received his elementary and junior high education in Toppenish.  He entered St. Edward’s Seminary, Kenmore, Washington in the Fall of 1949 where he received his secondary and college education, receiving a B.A. in 1957. In 1961 he completed his theological education with a Master of Divinity from St. Thomas Seminary in Kenmore, Washington. Fr. Ronald Patnode was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest on May 20, 1961 in St. Paul Cathedral, Yakima. He received a B.A. in Education (1962) and a M.Ed (1970) from Seattle University.


Fr. Ron taught at Marquette High School, Yakima  (1961-66), St. Joseph Junior High in Wenatchee (1966-68) and in Carroll High School, Yakima. He was Vice Principal and teacher at Carroll High School (1968-1973) then Principal (1973-79) and Superintendent of Catholic Schools in Central Washington (1974-79). He was instrumental in developing the first Diocesan School Policies. As Secretary of the Washington Federation of Private Schools he helped lobby for a State Voucher System for private school parents.

Fr. Ron studied Spanish in Mexico City (1979-80) in preparation to serve the Hispanic people in the Diocese. After returning from Mexico, he enjoyed teaching a course at Heritage University in its second and third years of existence. He was Diocesan Director of  Hispanic Ministries (1980-95). Fr. Ron was a leader in establishing a Regional Office for Hispanic Affairs for Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska, serving as its Board chairman several times. Conferences were put on to sensitize priest and religious to the Hispanic culture. He was a strong advocate in the Diocese, Region and on the National level for parishes being communities that include all baptized members. Many workshops were held to train lay ministers and leaders. He was a leader in the process leading to the National Hispanic Encuentro that began in local parishes, continuing in dioceses, regions and a final meeting in Washington DC that surface priorities of needs. This concluded with the U.S. Bishops Statement of  a National Policy for Hispanic Ministry.  Fr. Ron was a founding member of the Instituto National de Liturigia Hispana and first Secretary for the National Association of Diocesan Directors of Hispanic Ministry.  He was a member the Washington Association of Churches Committee establishing and directing a program for Salvadoran and Guatemalen Refugees. He also served as Diocesan Director of Continuing Education of Clergy (2000-2006).He served twice as regional representative on the Board of Directors for the National Federation of Priests’ Councils.

Parish assignments were: Assistant & Administrator of St. Peter Claver, Wapato; St. Mary, White Swan; Immaculate Conception, Mabton; Assistant and Pastor of St. Joseph, Wenatchee; Pastor of Royal City and Mattawa; Pastor of St. Joseph, Kennewick; Pastor of St. Aloysius, Toppenish and Resurrection Parish, Zillah; St. John the Baptist, Cle Elum and Immaculate Conception, Roslyn; Pastor of St. Joseph, Sunnyside; and Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes, Selah. He also did jail ministry in Benton, Chelan and Yakima County Jails as well as in the Yakima Juvenile Justice Center. Fr. Ron was active in the Cursillo Movement and the Search Retreats for many years.

Fr. Ron enjoyed golfing for many years and was proud of his Carroll High School golf team who placed highest of all AA schools among all high schools in the state tournament. He enjoyed skiing and his ministry of providing Masses at White Pass Ski area. He enjoyed playing cards with his cousins and close friends who provided him the opportunity to offer them the Sacrament of Reconciliation afterwards! He traveled the world with his friends not only for enjoyment and relaxation, but especially for educational and informational purposes. From those experiences he learned that our human differences are blessings from God and that we are all children of God. Fr. Ron was a strong advocate of equality,  social justice and a dignified life.

Fr. Ron is survived by his sister, JoEllen (Larry)  Barrientos of Packwood, Washington, nephews Lindsey (deceased) (Kerri) Barrientos, Vickie Barrientos,  Loren (Carmen) Barrientos, Michele Rhode and Lonny Barrientos; several grand nephews and grandnieces; many cousins and those who truly considered him “Father”: Osmar Aguirre, Candido Huertas, Rafael, and Lalo Gudiño. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Memorials may be made to the Priests Retirement Fund or the Seminarian Education Formation Fund, c/o Diocese of Yakima, 5301 Tieton Drive, Yakima, WA 98908.

Brookside Funeral Home & Crematory, Yakima, is entrusted with the arrangements.