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Honouring the Memory of our Friend PatJ

Photo of Patrick Johnson

by Jody Smith

We want to celebrate the memory of PatJ here on Phoenix Rising. Many of our members knew him as a long-time friend on these forums. We received some sorrowful news about Pat on December 29, 2020 from his sister Shannon.

“I wanted to inform you that my brother Patrick Johnson of Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada ended his suffering this morning. His wishes were to let this group know,” she told us. “I would like to thank you all for the friendship and support that you have provided to him for the duration of his illness. He was a kind and gentle soul and he was a light in our lives.”

Pat was also a steadfast light for his friends on Phoenix Rising. He was always ready with a kind word to lift the flagging spirits of his fellow PR members. His technical skills were frequently called upon for the forums. He often worked quietly behind the scenes, making himself available even when his health was deteriorating.

Shannon appreciates the fact that Pat was a part of this community. She has found comfort in the knowledge that her brother contributed so much in so many ways, that he was loved.

She told us, “I have read the beautiful tributes to him on Phoenix Rising. They have brought a lot of comfort to my family and me.”



We asked Shannon if she would share some of her memories of her brother with us, and she graciously agreed to do so, even though this has been such a painful time for her and her family.

Here’s what Shannon wanted us to know about her big brother Pat:

I don’t really know where to start with the memories. It’s hard to sum up my whole life with my brother!

His memory was really bad in some respects but then he would always remember things that I had no recollection of. He would always be horrified when I would remind him of things he did to me when we were kids. We are 7 years apart so I was definitely the annoying younger sister.

He tied my toboggan to our husky once when we were outside in the winter (we live in the Yukon, Canada). The dog ran off with me trailing behind all the way to the end of our road. He thought it was hilarious but our Mom did not.

He used to put a Punky Brewster doll in my bed at night to scare me because it looked like Chucky. He would dump cold water on me when I was in the shower … This is not how he would like to be remembered but it makes me smile to think about it.

I fell off the roof once and he just laughed at me lying on the ground from the door, our Mom yelling at him to help me in the background (he knew I was fine).

We would watch horror movies together on Christmas morning until our Mom woke up.

In high school he was always the designated driver and always made sure his friends got home from parties safely. I have had a few of his high school friends reach out and tell me that Pat’s caring and kindness were one of the only reasons they made it through high school.

We played endless hours of video games together, he always had the latest gaming system. He even built me a whole arcade with 1,000 games that we still use.

He was a self-taught computer programmer and the things he could do were absolutely amazing. He tried to go to college for it but he knew more than the professors so he gave that up pretty quick.

Pat with his nephew Brody and niece Bailey

Once he had a niece, Bailey, he spent so much time with her. He picked her up after school on the days our Mom couldn’t. He did crafts with her and took her for long walks with the dog. They were always building something or doing some kind of science experiment.



I came to pick her up once and her teeth were jet black because he’d shown her how to use activated charcoal to “whiten her teeth.” He was always teaching her about how bad white sugar was and giving her healthy alternatives.

When my son Brody, Pat’s nephew, came along he was a bit harder to handle but Pat still did his best with him. There were always paper airplanes or mechanical building sets happening at Uncle’s house.

Even though Pat had to miss out on so many of life’s events (our Mothers funeral, my wedding) he was always there in spirit and always found a beautiful gift or handmade card to give.

He was an amazing artist. He and Bailey would draw together all the time. He spent a time doing art cards that were posted to a website, I will try to find the link to share. He made us hand drawn cards for all occasions and I can’t even describe the talent he had for it.

My daughter Bailey has a jar for all the quotes he gave her. He would print them and cut them out for her to read a new one every day. We are continuing that tradition and have 2 jars full. He would send me quotes so often after our Mom passed away, they really did help so much.

There are so many more memories but I can’t possibly share them all. Thanks for keeping Pat in your thoughts.  He was a special human.

Shannon

Pat with his sister Shannon, niece Bailey, nephew Brody and brother-in-law Jason

Shannon was kind enough to send Pat’s obituary along to us to share with all of the people who cared about him at Phoenix Rising.

Our loss cuts deep. His absence leaves an empty place on these forums and in our hearts. He will always be remembered here.

Thank you, Shannon, for helping us to create this memorial for your big brother Pat. He was loved by so many people. It means a great deal to us as his friends and community to be able to remember him together.

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~ All images provided by Pat’s sister Shannon