Patterson was born in Portland, Oregon in 1920.
In 1942 he was appointed as a Patrol Inspector in the Immigration
Border Patrol, and was assigned to work on the Mexican border
in Southern California. His career as a Border Patrolman was interrupted
by military service during WW II. During his military service
he met and married Shirley Van Hamm in Denver, Colorado. In 1951
Harold and Shirley enrolled in BIOLA Bible College in Los Angeles.
After graduation they accepted teaching positions in Taholah,
Washington on the Quinault Indian Reservation. They remained in
Taholah for 17 years and served the Indian community in various
ways during that time. To upgrade his professional skills Harold
earned the Bachelor of Education degree at Seattle Pacific University
and the Master of Education degree at the University of Washington.
In 1972 Mr. Patterson was appointed Associate Supervisor of Indian
Education for the State of Washington, and served in that capacity
for nine years. He also served as a lay minister and Bible teacher
in various churches. In 1972 the Pattersons moved to a ranch at
Brooklyn, Washington. Throughout the years Harold maintained a
very close relationship with the Quinault people, and in 2005
he was adopted as an enrolled member of the Quinault Indian Nation.