Wilson Hastings Paterson

Wilson Hastings Paterson
(1933 – 2022)

Dear friends and family of Royal Ashburn Golf Club and the Paterson family, it is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our founder and visionary Wilson Hastings Paterson (1933-2022).  Wilson passed away at the age of 89 on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 peacefully in his sleep.  Wilson will be remembered for the lasting contributions he made to the growth of golf in Canada, starting with the purchase of the Compton farmlands in 1959 and with the golf course ready for play in 1962, Royal Ashburn Golf Club was a labour of love and a dream realized many years later.

Wilson played an integral part in organizing PGA qualifying schools by donating his course at Royal Ashburn Golf Club so these events could take place for 35 years, helping grow the game of golf and continue to inspire young athletes.  On a local level he was recognized by Lake Ontario Secondary School Athletics (LOSSA) for his tireless support of junior golf at both the elementary and high school levels.  Wilson Paterson will be remembered by many for the support he offered to fulfill the dreams and aspirations of every young golfer he had the opportunity to engage with.

Wilson’s influence did not stop with golf, he had a talent for connecting and supporting the community that will be remembered by everyone who knew him.  His reputation in the community was that of a respected, charismatic business leader who gave back through financial support, donations and volunteerism.  In 2009 Wilson was recognized as the Peter Perry Award Winner by the Whitby Chamber of Commerce, a prestigious award saved for those who have made a significant impact to the community.  In 2000 Wilson was inducted into the Whitby Sports Hall of Fame as a builder recognizing his contributions to his support of junior golf development.  In 2012 Wilson was awarded the Diamond Jubilee Medal from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II honouring Canadians who made a significant contribution to the country.  For those that knew him best, Wilson will be remembered for his generosity and caring demeanour.  He was always available for a chat and would take the personal time to make everyone around him feel important and valued.  He believed in treating others the way you would want to be treated and lived his life by this philosophy.

In addition to golf, Wilson loved being outdoors. He loved fishing and hunting and being away from the noise of the world.  He supported Ducks Unlimited and was a conservationist by nature. His love for both would ultimately help lead to the creation of a working wetlands on the property of Royal Ashburn, built with the support of Ducks Unlimited, The Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters (OFAH) and Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA). 

To his family, Wilson will proudly be remembered as loving husband to wife Sandy, “Pops” to sons Allan (Leslie), Scott (Lisa) and David (Jackie) and “Poppa” to grandkids Emma and Devin. Wilson was proud of his family and always supportive. He could be quiet in a “you need to figure it out for yourself” way while still providing direction and coaching to ensure positive results.  He was an avid outdoorsman who shared his passion, he was encouraging and he was selfless.  He knew a successful life was built by hard-work and determination and would often say “Reach for the stars you might hit the moon.”  We love you and you will be missed, but you will live on in each of us.

In lieu of donations or flowers, the family has asked that you comment by sharing a story or memory of your time with Wilson.

A celebration of life to be held on:

Sunday, October 16th, 2022
Open to attend 
Royal Ashburn Golf Club
995 Myrtle Road West, Ashburn, Ontario
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm

64 Responses to “Wilson Hastings Paterson

  • Brad Denike
    2 years ago

    Condolences to the family. I grew up across the street from the golf course and spent countless hours at the range and at the practice green. Wilson would always come say hi and hand me multiple tokens for more range balls. I’ll never forget his range tips and short but genuine on course conversation we would have while he watched majority golfers struggle to hit the fairway on #5.

  • Bob Strickert
    2 years ago

    I want to express my condolences to Sandy and family on the passing of Wilson. As a golf member I enjoyed casual conversations with Wilson who was a consummate gentleman. I also was well aware of Wilson’s passion to support the community in so many ways. He will certainly be missed. It was a privilege to know Wilson.

  • Justin Hawe
    2 years ago

    Wilson was a legend in the golf industry. It was an honour and privilege to not only know him, but work alongside him. What Wilson accomplished in his lifetime and career was remarkable and inspiring and is one of the reasons why I became a Golf Professional. He was a beacon in the community and will be truly missed.

  • Richard Cowle
    2 years ago

    Sincere condolences to his beautiful family whom I have grown an attachment to over the last six years at the course. I never knew Wilson back in my college days when I golfed at Thunderbird G.C. but I got to know him through our conversations in Butler’s Pub over the years. Always the gentleman and always took the time to ask me how everything was going. To Sandy and the boys, I can only tell you from my own experiences in dealing with the death of loved ones, that he’s in a better place and will be well taken care of. Sometimes once the quality of life is gone we must realize it’s a blessing when God calls them home. All the best !!

  • Les Diggins
    2 years ago

    Wilson will be sorely missed by all whom knew him. A complete gentleman and a visionary. He built a legacy that few if any will surpass. I’m am so proud to have known him and be considered a friend. Condolences, Sandy, Scott, David and family. He will be sorely missed.

  • My condolences to the Paterson family….he will be missed! He will forever be a part of the golf club and course….I still remember when he drove his cart around the course. He was a kind man.

  • Robyn Douglas
    2 years ago

    Truly sorry for the your loss, he was a great gentleman who will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers to your families .

    Robyn and Cris Douglas

  • Roy Milley
    2 years ago

    Wilson was a Gentleman and took the time to chat myself as a VIP Member at his Club. Will always be remembered for his kind way and I enjoyed the chats. Loved seeing him fishing at the pond on occasion. Never too busy to say hello and ask how was your day and did you enjoy the round? Sadly missed by all golfers.

  • Herb Magister
    2 years ago

    I have been a member for over 30 years at royal Ashburn and have good memories of Wilson one that I will never forget I was on the first tee late one day and Wilson drives up with Moe Norman to play 9 holes I ask the to go ahead but Wilson asked me to join them it was a Clinic about golf for me Wilson was a very good Golfer and Moe we all now about him.Wilson always had time to talk about Golf.in the later years when I see him in the snack bar watching TV I join him for a few minutes for a chat he always thanked me for stopping by.He be missed a lot by many

  • My sincere condolences to the family, sorry for your loss. My Wilson Paterson story: Thanks to my brother in-law I started playing golf 26 years ago when I was 29 years old. The 1st course I ever played was Thunderbird AKA Royal Ashburn I shot approx 120ish. However I am stubborn and I kept coming back. I’m a stickler for the rules and for golf etiquette, I fix my divots, ball marks etc. Approx 25 years ago I was playing the 1st hole at Royal Ashburn and on my 3rd shot I hit it fat and took a huge divot ( a true beaver tail) I walked up and found the divot, walked back, replaced it and fixed it up as best I could. I continued on my way none the wiser that someone was actually watching me. An older gent with a bucket hat drove up and asked if he could speak to me for a moment. Immediately I thought he was a marshal and maybe I done something wrong. With a grin he said thank you for taking care of the course and handed me a card. I was surprised and simply said no problem and off he went again in the cart. As I continued on I looked at the card and it was for a complimentary round of golf at Royal Ashburn. Wow I was so shocked and impressed. I later come to learn the nice man that gave me the free round was in fact the owner Wilson Paterson. I remember Mr. Paterson fondly and to this day I always fix my beaver tails/divots.

  • Ron Stevens
    2 years ago

    My condolences to all of the family, Wilson will be missed but never forgotten, he was a special person that cared about our community here in Ashburn. I had the privilege of working with him for several years on the odour issue with the mushroom farm. He gave use of the facility for our meeting and with the community at large. He really cared, rest in peace my friend.

  • Bill Campbell
    2 years ago

    Condolences to Sandy and the entire Patterson family. Wilson talked fondly of how he designed and took care of his golf course. Many times l saw him driving the course, either killing ants on the greens or making sure debris was cleared. His care and respect for the golf course was infectious.
    Years later, some of my fondest memories was seeing Wilson feeding his fish on five and enjoying the peace and scenery in the wildlife area he created by the first green.

  • Dave Chappel
    2 years ago

    I first met Wilson in 1988 and we often played nine holes together. Wilson was a great person to play golf with and he was very proud of his golf course. I loved the relaxing atmosphere he created with the music playing and Wilson always there to greet everyone. One of the great things about Wilson is that he had a vision for his golf course. He had the equipment and if he felt the course needed change then he would rebuild a hole to his satisfaction. Wilson led a spectacular life. I own a couple of copies of his book and the one story that I find very humorous is when Wilson and Moe Norman went to Augusta National and they were offered to play the golf course. Of course, Moe didn’t want to play and blew away Wilson’s only chance to play Augusta National. Wilson always took every thing in stride. Royal Ashburn (the old Thunderbird) was the most friendly golf course that I was ever associated with and that is all because of Wilson. Wilson just loved people and made every one feel welcome. I am going to miss him and I think of him every day. He will go down as one of the greatest golf professionals that ever graced this earth. Wilson, you lived a great life and I am sure you are building a new golf course somewhere up in heaven.

  • A true Gentleman who inspired many to be their best both on and off the course. Thank you for helping me with my golf career!
    Memories I will keep forever. Condolences and prayers from the Hughes family. God Speed…

  • glen muldoon
    2 years ago

    Condolences to Sandy, the boys and the whole family. As a former member of Thunderbird I remember my times there fondly. Wilson always had a smile and time for you. I know Scott and Dave will take good care of Royal Ashburn and keep Wilsons’ memory alive and well …RIP

  • Richard Sakanashi
    2 years ago

    My condolences to Sandy, and the Paterson family. I met Wilson back in late 80’s. I recall one afternnoon we played the front nine and going down the first fairway we got to talking about the latest golf clubs that were coming out. He had just unboxed a brand new Callaway 4 wood and offered it to me to try before he had even hit it himself. He was a selfless man who always had the time to say hello, ask about my day and chat. I raise a glass to your memory this evening my friend.

  • Peter Boyce
    2 years ago

    Although I have not seen Wilson in years, my first visit to “Thunderbird “ was caddying for Neil Verwey at an Ontario assistants event….guessing in 1963…….in years later..we were together at the bar after play at The Northern PGA in Sudbury….always a respected and loved fellow member of the PGA of Canada
    First class!
    Wilson, you will be missed

  • Marg Stevens
    2 years ago

    I met Mr. Patterson years ago when I came asking for a golf pass for Myrtle Church , when we had a silent auction. Every year after he generously gave to the church. If he came into Freshco, he would say to me …need those passes yet? Then he would ask me where we hid some grocery item he was picking up for Sandy. I would walk around the store with him and have a great visit . I can honestly say, it was a pleasure to serve him. I think of him often, what a gentleman! My condolences to Sandy and the boys. He will be missed , but left a great legacy!

  • Phil Hollinger
    2 years ago

    My condolences to Sandy , Scott , Dave and the entire family. Wilson was a true gentleman , I remember my first year as a member showing up for a late afternoon summer team time and this gentleman asks if it would be ok if he joined me. He introduced himself to me and it hit me I was about to play golf with the founder of Royal Ashburn. I was thrilled and the round was filled with wonderful conversation, golf tips , course secrets and the most important lesson was to enjoy the game and the outdoors. There were more rounds after that but that was special as it initiated my passion for the game

    Rest In Peace Wilson. You will be missed

  • Bob Kennedy
    2 years ago

    In 1970 I was a nervous 20 years old who played in the Thunderbird Invitational. By some miracle I shot 72 and won the tournament. Wilson congratuated me and asked why I seemed embarrassed. I told him that I wasn’t as good as many of the other players. He said, “You were the best today.” I’m not embarrassed to be crying as I type this. He was very kind to me over the years. What a beautiful human being!!

  • Mackenzie Tout
    2 years ago

    As a junior golfer at Royal Ashburn (in the early 2000s), Mr. Paterson played an active role in mentoring the youth at the club. What I always admired about Wilson was his eagerness to help, his patience to watch, and his unwillingness to compromise his standards.

    As I invested days into my golf game, Mr. Paterson was often present with me on the range; critiquing my swing, presenting unimagined challenges, or trying to inspire me with stories about Moe Norman. His passion for great golf, and for others to adhere to those standards, was relentless. I mean, the man held me on the driving range for three and a half hours one evening (after an opening shift in the proshop) until I hit every green on the driving range 10 times in a row.

    Although there were many moments I wished to tune Wilson out in my practice, I always took the time to listen because I respected his time, golf club, and experiences. As a man in my early 30s now, I look back on these moments and attest much of my competitive drive and admiration for the game of golf to my time at Royal Ashburn.

    My sincerest condolences to the Paterson family.

  • Tina Casey
    2 years ago

    I was fortunate enough to work a few seasons at Royal Ashburn and got to know the Patterson family. Im saddened by the news of of his passing. It was really nice to get to know him and it was always a treat to see him out and about cruising on his golf cart. It’s really nice to read all the wonderful things he accomplished in his life and everything he contributed to the game of golf and his community.

    My condolences to Sandy, Scott & Dave and the entire family.

    Rest in peace Wilson.

  • Dave McGonigal
    2 years ago

    So sad to hear such a great man has passed…but not before living life to the fullest and sharing his love of golf and the outdoors. I remember him coming out around dusk in his golf cart each night to check out that all was well and more importantly, to feed the fish! Sometimes he would stop by and say hello and chat. He had a gentle, kind way about him. He will be missed by all.

  • The entire golf community in Durham Region is in mourning. There was nobody bigger than Wilson Paterson. He was always driving around fixing up parts of the course at dusk (handing out golf balls he found), to watching golfers young & old on the range & of course holding court in Butler’s Pub. There was hardly a golfer that walked in that didn’t stop for a quick chat with Wilson, he knew everybody & we can all relate as he always just sat & listened to what you had to say. Hundreds of times I asked Wilson if it was ok if I wore my wacky pants on his course & his response was always the same, “Oh…Terry…that’s fine”. One of my many Wilson Paterson stories involved Wilson calling me at the radio station on a Friday morning in November at about 9am asking me to mention on the radio that Thunderbird was already closed for the season but he was reopening for the weekend as the weather was going to be nice. I obliged then called Wilson back about 10 minutes later to see if I could book a tee time. Wilson said, “No & stop talking about it on the air because we’re booked solid through Sunday at 4pm” Rest in peace my friend. Wilson Paterson…your name will be mentioned for many many years to come.

  • Lou Manserra
    2 years ago

    My deepest heartfelt condolences go out to the entire Paterson family. I did not know hom personally but I would have loved to sit down and chat with Wilson.. May you all find comfort and lasting strength in the legacy he left behind. Cherish it all.

  • Jo-Anne Lake
    2 years ago

    We are sorry for your loss. In the fall of 1963 Mo and I took golf lessons from Wilson when the course was named the Thunderbird Golf Course. For 54 years we watched Wilson make his dream come true and with Sandy at his side , growing the golf course into one of the best public courses around. Wilson was a gentle giant with a big heart. Everyone that knew him benefitted from his generosity.
    We will miss him but know Sandy and his family will take on the task of continuing to grow the course into an even spectacular experience.

  • Michelle Stack
    2 years ago

    A handful of memories bubbled up over the many, many having worked at the course for 20+years. Wilson’s leadership was evident everywhere on the course, but also inside as well. Wilson did indeed hold court in Butler’s – as his table was often a big and entertaining one on Monday nights! Particularly entertaining was the process by which Wilson and those in his group would settle up their winnings/losses on various holes at the end of the night in Butler’s. Many a dining room server in those years can attribute sharp-as-a-tack math skills to creative fractions of splitting wine bottles to settle debts owed!

    He was always interested in the guest’s experience, on and off the course. And often sought staff’s perspective on what we were hearing and seeing that could improve Thunderbird, and then Royal Ashburn. I recall a time in the mid-90s, when I got the Beverage Cart stuck and blew a tire between #14 and #15 and Shane had to come down from the shop to pull it out. Wilson was in the pro shop and overheard when I radioed up to ask if someone from the backshop could pick me up. I had a sinking feeling that I was in trouble when I saw him coming down the path. He joked that I wasn’t likely to do that again and, as the Beverage Cart was still relatively new at that time, he wanted to ask about golfers’ preferences for purchases from the cart and how to ensure golf etiquette and course play were maintained on the course with the new cart.

    Wilson’s vision and leadership are everywhere at the course. His passion for and commitment to Thunderbird / Royal Ashburn played out everyday – in all who golfed, all who dined and attended events and all who celebrated life’s milestones. The atmosphere he nurtured and his pride for the course are why many cite it as their favourite and why countless staff members returned, and keep returning, season after season.

    He’s left it in great hands and his time now is to rest. The Mortons and Stacks send our heartfelt condolences to all the Patersons and we look forward to celebrating his life in October.


  • Jo-Anne
    2 years ago

    We are sorry for your loss. In the fall of 1963 Mo and I met Wilson at what was known then as the Thunderbird Golf Course. We took golf lessons from Wilson and for many years watched his dream come to fruition. The membership grew and soon the renaming of the golf course to the Royal Asburn . Wilson was a gentle giant with a big heart. Everyone that knew him benefitted from his generosity. We grieve his loss.

  • Jo-Anne Lake
    2 years ago

    We are sorry for your loss. In the fall of 1963 Mo and I met Wilson at what was known then as the Thunderbird Golf Course. We took golf lessons from Wilson and for many years watched his dream come to fruition. The membership grew and soon the renaming of the golf course to the Royal Asburn . Wilson was a gentle giant with a big heart. Everyone that knew him benefitted from his generosity. We grieve his loss.

  • Doug Robertson
    2 years ago

    Sorry for your loss Allan, my Sincere Condolences

    Doug Robertson

  • Louise Avery Arnold
    2 years ago

    One of my funniest memories of Wilson happened after David and Scot were born. My husband David and I dropped over to bring something to them at their new but unfinished home. Sandy was in town with Alan so Wilson was to mind the babies. He sat down with one of them on his lap, I took the other and we fed them a bottle. As we sat, looking at construction work around us, a mouse scampered across the room and dived into the unfinished inner wall! We looked at each other helplessly as the boys kept feeding hungrily. Wilson was not the least bothered and opined that the fields were hot and his house gave them ( the mice) shade!
    I often picture that scene when I think of Wilson and what a gentle man he was in so many areas of life. Sending condolences now and thinking of Sandy, Alan, David and Scot.

    Wilson Rest in Peace.

    David and Louise

  • Michael Briand
    2 years ago

    My condolences to the whole Royal Ashburn family. In the many decades that I knew Wilson through his golf course, he always made me feel most welcome to be sharing his pride and joy. His “tinkering” with the course over the years lead to many conversations about what was next. I don’t imagine he ever truly finished his work on the course as it seemed like a living canvass to him. During some personal difficult times, the RA family was supportive of my situation and that sort of customer care always starts at the top. His presence has been missed at the course over the last little while but his vision and good works live on. He won’t be forgotten.

  • Bruce Newton
    2 years ago

    At true gentleman of the game of golf. I have been playing at Royal Ashburn for almost 20 years and it was always a pleasure to see Wilson sitting around the clubhouse or out on his cart. Condolences to the club and the family.

    Bruce Newton

  • Frank Doris
    2 years ago

    Wilson was a kind and sharing man. We looked forward to our Friday date nights, sitting in the Butler Pub listening to Wilson as he shared his philosophy of how a golf course should be built and how he incorporated this philosophy into Royal Ashburn. The subtle changes in creating new traps, such as the small pot bunker fronting number one green to the enlargement of the 8th green and the creation of the mound in the middle of the green. He always gave me a smile with a twinkle in the eye when I asked about this new “wonderful” 8th green feature. But most important was his sharing of the game. How to approach putts, how to deal with the various speeds on the greens and how these factors affect the putt. Poor Wilson, we nodded in agreement with his information but we realized that he knew we would struggle to apply these teaching lessons.
    Wilson, we will always remember you and miss those great Friday evenings in Butler Pub.

    Sincerely from probably you’re worst students

    Frank and Jocelyne

  • Tom Aird
    2 years ago

    I have so many great memories of the time I spent with Wilson it is hard to pick out the most memorable ones.
    The first time I met Wilson was sometime in the late 60’s. I was at the then Thunderbird Golf Club to play in an Ontario PGA Assistant’s tournament.
    Moe Norman was a good friend of mine and he would come to many of our tournaments to just hang around.
    He and I were on the range and Wilson pulled up in a cart beside us and introduced himself to me. He and Moe were already good friends and anyone who knew Moe knew he loved to have some fun teasing you and making lots of comments about anything to do with golf. After I finished my round Wilson, Moe and I spent a few hours on the range hitting shots and just having some fun.
    Wilson would invite me to play with a group of Professionals on Friday afternoons and stay for a BBQ with Dick Eng. Then he would invite me to play with some professionals and members on Monday afternoons and stay for dinner. Those days and dinners were some of the best times I had on the golf course.
    I could go on and on but the thing I will remember most was playing with Wilson 5 or 6 years ago, he would have been 82 or 83 and he hit it about 12 feet on #4 and when he holed the putt he had his ever present smile on his face and as he picked the ball out of the hole the grin just got bigger as he said “still got it”. I think it was the last time he played. We would still play on Monday’s and he would ride around “coaching” us.
    Wilson took great pride in his golf course, always looking for ways to improve the course and clubhouse . He might be the friendliest golf professional ever, always making time to have a conversation with anyone who dropped by Butler’s Pub.
    Wilson will be missed by many but will be remembered for the legacy he leaves behind.
    My sincerest condolences to Sandy, Scott, Dave and all of the Paterson family.
    I can envision Wilson and Moe on a course somewhere analyzing their swings and just having fun.

  • Susanne Wilson-Davies
    2 years ago

    I am so sad to hear of the passing of Wilson. Deepest condolences to Sandy and the family. I knew them before ever moving to Ashburn which seems so long ago now. One of the times before I had customers who’s children were getting married at Royal Ashburn. The kids had 2 beloved large breed dogs that they asked if I would look after for them during the wedding. I had the idea to put pretty collars on the dogs and surprise them during the photo shoot on the beautiful grounds. Other people told me I must be mad, there is no way any golf course would allow that. I called Wilson and he not only said yes but offered to help with one of the dogs. Well at the chosen time doggies arrived in their finery delighting the guests and overwhelming the bride to tears. Thank you Wilson and Sandy.
    I must mention that another time while decorating the banquet hall in a western theme for one of the Ashburn dances, I told Wilson that I would be bringing my horse into the lobby. That suggestion didn’t go down quite as well
    But the look on his face…..priceless

  • Dick Eng
    2 years ago

    For me, it all started over 50 years ago when I joined Wilson Paterson and Bill Ogle as a partner in Whitby Golf and Country Club, later becoming Thunderbird Golf Club, and now known as The Royal Ashburn Golf Club. 

    Not only was Wilson my business partner, he was my friend – he taught me the game of golf, and I taught him a thing or two in the kitchen.  

    I have fond memories of when we hosted golf tournaments such as the Caribbean Couples, where Wilson would play the bongo drums along side Dick “Syncona” Smith, which lead to numerous trips together to Trinidad and Tobago.

    We had great times together. Wilson,  you will be missed. 

    Our deepest condolences to the Paterson family.

    Dick Eng and family.

  • Arlene Lott
    2 years ago

    My fondest memory of Wilson is when I played in a scramble with him during the Monday league. I was so nervous to be on his team but he made me feel so at ease. I remember before I putted on #5 he had me look at the hole from every angle. What a great time we all had! May you Rest In Peace Wilson. My sincere condolences to all the Paterson family.

  • Linda Graham
    2 years ago

    Scott and Dave, my condolences to you and your family on the passing of your father. Trusting good memories will bring comfort.
    L. Graham (Trell’s mom)

  • Douglas Warner
    2 years ago

    Deepest condolences to Mrs. Paterson, Dave, Scott, and all of their family members
    Wilson created something special with Royal Ashburn and a lasting legacy we will all remember fondly.
    His life was long and full and we will always keep him in our memories.
    Thank you, Wilson.

  • Jenny Nigro
    2 years ago

    To: The Paterson’s

    My sincere condolences to you all. Wilson was one of a kind. Working at Royal Ashburn and understanding how he made such an impact on so many, was truly an honour.

    Wilson would often sit in the pub sunroom and look out at the 1st tee, admiring his golf course or just enjoying the view of watching so many others. He often asked me if I could do something about this blue spruce. “Its in the way of my view” Wilson said. He would ask me to sit beside him and look at how much it was in the way of the 1st tee. A memory I will cherish and hold, as I did understand where he was coming from …..the tree was totally in the way.

    We will live on through his creations. Thankful for legends like Wilson.

    Jenny Nigro

  • Rob Brown
    2 years ago

    I remember the first time I met Wilson. I was a sales rep for one of Royal Ashburn’s food suppliers and had to make a late-in-the-day delivery to them. My wife Belinda came along for the drive as it was one of those perfect summer evenings at the course, warm with the smell of fresh cut grass and the pinging sound of tee off. Wilson saw us come in and came over to introduce himself. A polite greeting turned into a proud tour of the clubhouse followed by a glass of wine with Sandy in the bar and the start of a friendship. Belinda and I are so fortunate to have known Wilson, I always found him to be kind, generous, inspiring and younger than his age. Our deepest condolences to Sandy, David, Scott and all the Paterson family.

    Rob and Belinda Brown

  • Sandy Ogle and family
    2 years ago

    We would like to send our condolences to Sandy and the boy’s. My father Bill, and Wilson spent many hours in our living room designing and laying out the original course which would later become Thunderbird. Godspeed Wilson.

  • Bob Beauchemin
    2 years ago

    My wife Maggie and I would like to offer our sincerest condolences to Sandy and the entire Paterson family for their loss.

    Wilson Paterson was truly a visionary, builder and benefactor in the world of golf. After building the Thunderbird/Royal Ashburn Golf Club, he continued to invest in it every year afterward in order to improve the the course and facilities. Every time I went to there something had been changed/improved, either new greens complexes had been added, new bunkers were added or tees that added length or different angles to the holes had been added. The Royal Ashburn Golf Club evolved into a championship course under Wilson’s guidance and certainly deserved the honor of becoming one of the few clubs in the Commonwealth to receive the “Royal designation”.
    I first met Wilson in 1976 while qualifying to play on “The Canadian Tour” and then became more acquainted in 1986 when as Commissioner of The Canadian Tour I ran the Qualifying School at the Thunderbird G.C. He was so gracious, generous and supportive and I considered him a mentor and a friend. Wilson genuinely loved golf, loved supporting golf and helped me immeasurably in the early days of rebuilding the Canadian Tour and I will be eternally grateful to him.

    Bob and Maggie Beauchemin

  • Christine (Dayes) Monteiro
    2 years ago

    I never knew Wilson personally, but I knew of him. The year I turned 17, I had my first summer job at the golf course, then known as Thunderbird. I worked in the kitchen and worked serving at the many banquets and weddings held there all summer. I remember Wilson coming through the kitchen on occasion with his two adorable twin boys who would have been about two years old at that time. Just by coincidence, I bumped into one of those twins today at the craft beer fest up in Port Perry and spoke to him (I’m sorry I didn’t ask his name and can’t say which one it was ) about my memories of working at the golf course. He asked me if I wouldn’t mind sharing my recollections here with everyone in memory of his father, which I am more than happy to do. In reading his obituary, I see Mr. Paterson has a long list of accomplishments and it is obvious his family is very proud of who he was. My condolences to all who knew him.

  • Gary Mossman
    2 years ago

    I first met Wilson in the 1990s when I worked at a restaurant in Uxbridge where he and Sandy were regular customers. I did not befriend a lot of customers, but they were different. They were more than friendly, they were genuinely interested in people. As I would witness many times, Wilson wanted to know who you were, what your interests were, and what motivated you.
    Around 2009, the restaurant had closed and I was looking for work. I went to see Wilson to discuss working in the Royal Ashburn dining room. Naturally, he asked about what else was going on in my life. I had written a couple of books that had not been published and one of them involved golf. Wilson told me about the book he wanted to publish in celebration of Royal Ashburn’s upcoming 50th anniversary, and asked if I could write it. I will always feel honoured and grateful that Wilson trusted me to tell his story and thankful for the two or three years we spent working closely together to present an accurate, informative and entertaining history of the golf course to which Wilson dedicated so much of his life. Throughout that time, I was welcomed by everyone in the family. Sandy, Scott, David, Alan, Jaclyn, Lisa and Leslie all shared with me their memories and helped me understand why Royal Ashburn was so special, as did Dick Eng and his family.
    One day, when we were almost finished assembling the book, Wilson decided that we should sell advance copies to anyone who would share their experiences at Royal Ashburn with us. In return, we would include their photograph and brief comments in a members section near the end of the book. I wasn’t convinced it was a good idea; however, Wilson was. And he was correct. This forum did make an excellent addition to the book, and I will always remember the day that Wilson and I spent sitting at a desk in front of the pro shop, greeting people as they came on and off of the golf course. Wilson’s interest in people and his natural ability to engage with everyone shone that day. Near the end, we were discussing the congratulatory letters we were attempting to elicit from various government offices, when, to our surprise, Premier Dalton McGuinty’s, executive assistant came by. He informed us that the Premier was on the golf course with his sons, but would surely agree to writing a congratulatory letter to Wilson. It is because of Wilson’s great charm and his ability to converse with everyone that the book includes letters from seven different levels of government, as well as professional golfers, and the personal memories of the people who met Wilson and were challenged by his golf course.
    My deepest condolences to Sandy and the rest of the Paterson family.

  • Doug McGowan
    2 years ago

    Always a gentleman on and off the course. Always put the golfers interest first and foremost. R.I.P.

  • Herb Holzscheiter
    2 years ago

    Mary and I send our sincerest condolences to Sandy and the Paterson family. I have known Wilson for over 60 years. He helped me greatly in my golf career and I am forever grateful for that. He was the best of the best and to be considered a friend of his was an honour. I will think of him often and may he rest in peace.
    Thanks for everything!

    Herb Holzscheiter

  • Ian Bergin
    2 years ago

    So sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing.

    I have so many memories of growing up around the golf course. My dad would have to take Neil and I with him if he was going up to golf on the weekend. I had a small wood and iron that your Dad cut down to size for me. Both Neil and I used those two clubs when we were first learning to golf.

    I really enjoyed getting the opportunity to work with your Dad when I moved back to Dunwoody Oshawa in 1987. I always appreciated that you Dad gave me the opportunity to be his accountant and advisor. It was an entirely different experience from being the kid running around catching frogs and snapping turtles.

    Julie and I will keep Wilson and all of you in our thoughts and prayers. Our deepest condolences on the loss of a great man.

  • Karen Stewart
    2 years ago

    My condolences to the Patterson family.
    He was a great man and a true gentleman.
    He always had time to talk to you and ask you how your game was whether he was on the course driving around or relaxing in the pub.
    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • Lars Melander
    2 years ago

    Our most sincere condolences to Sandy and family from all of us at The Toronto Golf & Travel Show! And I will never forget getting my first trophy from Mr. Paterson at The Famous Thunderbird Junior! God Bless and RIP Mr. Paterson!

  • Amongst my finest memories in life are my years at Thunderbird / Royal Ashburn. Wilson was at the heart of it all.
    My condolences to the Paterson family and to all that knew and will miss Wilson.

  • Jacqueline McMichael
    2 years ago

    Sending our condolences to the Paterson Family with our thoughts and prayers. I was just at RA a few weeks ago and was asking David how his Mom and Dad were doing, it brought a tear to my eye when I learned of Wilson’s passing. What a true gentleman …. was there anyone that Wilson met that he did not remember one little fact about you and your family? He did not! I have told people time and time again, my favourite course EVER has been and will always be Royal Ashburn! Not only is the course outstanding, it was the way the Paterson family welcomed you to their course. For 12+ years, I had a group of girlfriends that would get together on a Wednesday night for the Nine n Dine, eventually Wilson named us the “Ladies of Ashburn”

    Such a well respected, talented, knowledgeable and a pillar of the community, thank you for all you did Wilson! You will be missed. Rest in Peace.

  • David B. Maynes
    2 years ago

    Our family received this news of Wilson passing with a very heavy heart. Our condolences go out to David, Scott, Sandy and family.

    Wilson H. Paterson a Gentleman, Father, Grandfather, Community Leader, Businessman, Visionary, Mentor and so many more accomplishments can describe his many accomplishments and love for his Golf and love for the game.

    Often seen in his special Golf Cart around the Royal Ashburn Golf Course he always had time for a few words for every golfer he will meet. He once mentioned to me in a conversation we were having that so many golfers get frustrated when playing only because the played the game from the wrong Tee and believe they can all make par if they just played from the green/forward Tees instead of the one they were playing ? Especially as they got older……. Yes you are supposed to enjoy the game.

    Thank you Wilson for the many wonderful memories you and your family gave our family at Royal Ashburn over the years. The game for us and the fellowship you shared with us is very special. We wish your family only the best in the years to come.

    God Bless you and your family and we will always support the club because of your friendship.

    David & Dale Maynes

  • David & Sharon McNeill
    2 years ago

    Our condolences to Sandy, Scott, Dave & Jacky Granddaughter Emma / and all the entire /family. To the excellent job that his son’s have done since father Wilson retired. Let’s not forget the entire family of staff, that helped in his dreams staying alive. It’s a great golf course. We have enjoyed everything about Royal Ashburn. From golf, food, pub, etc., From nine and dine, special events, tournament’s etc. and the list goes on. We had our daughter wedding there. Back when the course was the Thunderbird. They were more than accommodating for that event.
    We’ll miss his smile along with our occasional chats with him when he had a free minute. Thank you Wilson Paterson for all the wonderful memories you and your family gave us.

    Our Deepest Sympathies David & Sharon McNeill

  • Vince Kishimoto
    2 years ago

    To Sandy, Scott & Dave and family
    My brother Reg & I extend our most profound condolences to you and the Royal Ashburn family on the passing and loss of Wilson.
    For over 55 years Wilson has touched our lives. Our family golf tournament continued at Thunderbird in 1972 until 1996. I was a member for a few years in the early 70’s. Then we connected again as industry colleagues in the year 2000.
    Wilson, ever the consummate (soft-spoken) gentleman of a by-gone era was a delight. Resolute and never intimidated, his passion and beliefs were out front without concern or fear of his convictions.
    Wilson – the epitome of what golf is. You are missed and fondly remembered.

    With sympathies, Reg & Vince Kishimoto

  • Jason M. Cameron
    2 years ago

    My sincerest condolences to Sandy, Scott, Dave and all of the Paterson family.

    Growing up in Pickering my whole life, I have so many fond memories of golfing over the years, including attending a close friend’s wedding there. I had the pleasure and honour of working with Wilson, Dave, and Scott for a number of years, and I was always impressed with their professionalism, caring, and generosity/involvement in the community. It was truly inspiring. Some of my fondest memories are being invited and participating in the Ducks Unlimited Golf Tournament. It was always a lot of fun with great activities, incredible food and you always knew Wilson would come by, say hi and ask how things are going.

    Wilson was an incredible business man, and caring individual who will truly be missed.

  • Gary Stangoe
    2 years ago

    I don’t think I have ever met anyone in my life in the golf industry that I held in higher regard than Wilson. In our golf business I never stop telling anyone who will listen about Royal Ashburn and it will forever be the example to me as to how a golf course business should be and the story behind it sums up everything about a love that I have never seen rivalled for our game.

    As for Wilson the man, again just never met anyone who inspired me in the way Wilson did to be a better version of myself in terms of my work in golf and as a person too. I’m sure everyone will have their stories of Wilson because he was loved by all but for me over all of many many happy memories it goes back to my first trip over, driving in to Royal Ashburn on a late afternoon in October 2000 and Wilson proudly showing Rachel and I around the golf club for the first time and that feeling upon entering the clubhouse will forever live with me. That feeling has never changed upon any of my visits, it became and will forever be “my happy place”. The warmth and welcome the Paterson family have always shown me and whoever I have with me it has never waivered and again just a joy to experience and always everyone was so touched by meeting Wilson.

    I feel truly blessed to have known Wilson and for the time we did spend together and of course in turn since our first meeting at the reception desk at Spey Bay that he then chose to introduce his family to me without doubt was life changing and I will be forever grateful for that meeting and he will never be forgotten.

  • Tammy Eng
    2 years ago

    I first got lessons from Wilson when I was nine. I played numerous pro- junior golf tournaments with Wilson, which we won on 2 occasions (76 and 80). One year stands out where Wilson won the use of a car for a year. As a junior, we won golf gear. I remember winning a lovely ‘valour track suit”… I wonder where that is now? For the celebration meal, Wilson got a steak dinner, and the juniors got chicken fingers (luckily my favorite, lol). I enjoyed going to these tournaments each year (held at various country clubs throughout Ontario) and travelling in Wilson’s GMC Jimmy. Thanks for the golf lessons over the years, and the memories. RIP WHP.
    Sending my deepest condolences to the Paterson family.

  • Bill ogle jr
    2 years ago

    I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to Sandy and the Patterson family. As a young boy I spent many days at the club watching Wilson and my father build their business. I remember catching frogs in the 8th hole pond for one of Wilson’s fishing trips and his Thunderbird car was the envy of all us kids. I always made a point of saying hi whenever I visited the club in later years and Wilson always had time for a chat. He will be missed.

  • My sincerest condolences to sandy and the Patterson family. I have many memories growing up at the club watching Wilson and my father build their business. There was the time we caught frogs in the 8th hole pond for one of Wilson’s fishing trips and as kids how we loved his cool Thunderbird car. In later years i always made a point of stopping in to say hi to Wilson whenever I was at the club and he always had a friendly smile and made the time for a chat. He will be missed.

  • bill ogle jr
    2 years ago

    My sincerest condolences to Sandy and the entire Paterson family. I have many memories of growing up at the club and watching Wilson and my father build their business. I remember catching frogs at the 8th hole pond for one of Wilson’s fishing trips and the fishing derbies at the 5th hole pond. As kids we all loved the cool Thunderbird car Wilson would park on the west side of the building every day. In later years I always made a point of looking for Wilson at the club to say hello and he always had a smile and made the time to chat. He will be missed. RIP

  • Jerry Wright
    2 years ago

    My sincere condolences to the Paterson family.
    It was a genuine pleasure to know Wilson. He and I had many conversations about the golf course. He believed the course was a living and breathing entity. I have taken many photos of the different wildlife that I enjoyed sharing with Wilson which led to discussions about the wildlife and the general eco system of the golf course. He took tremendous pride in the course he built and maintained for decades. It was a great pleasure to listen to him talk about Ashburn and the intricacies of the management of all the different pieces that make Ashburn a special place.

Trackbacks & Pings

  • The Shag Bag: Copetown Woods, free gas, a putting solution and more - Fairways Golf & Travel :

    […] Sad to hear of the passing of Wilson Paterson, founder and owner of Royal Ashburn Golf Club in Whitby. Over the years, anytime Wilson saw me at the club or the Golf Show, he’d stop to either ask me a question or tell me a story – sometimes both – which always led to interesting conversations. My condolences to wife Sandy and sons Allan, Scott and Dave and their families. A tribute to Wilson has been posted on the Royal Ashburn website including details of a planned Celebration of Life. You can find it HERE. […]

    2 years ago


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