Obituary of Douglas James Patenaude
Douglas James Patenaude, age 34, of St. Petersburg, FL, passed away on July 2, 2023, after a battle with addiction. He was born and raised in Norwich, Connecticut, and attended Sacred Heart and Norwich Free Academy.
As a child, Doug was active and loved to learn. He took dance classes, played football and was passionate about riding his go-cart, 4-wheelers, and snow mobile. Doug loved sport cars; his father owned an auto-collision center, and Doug would spend time there and pretend to write estimates for repairs. He enjoyed spending time with his family, in particular his cousins and his aunts. Two of his favorite foods were broccoli-cheddar soup bread bowls and KFC mac & cheese. Our House by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young was loudly played and sung repeatedly in the car when Doug was young, as it was his favorite song.
Doug loved being on the water. Growing up as a child, Doug enjoyed special time with his mother by the pool and trips to the beach. Doug and his father enjoyed time together boating and fishing. Later in life while in Tampa, Doug helped build a dock on the canal so he could continue his love of boating. In addition, canoeing at the lake in New Hampshire brought him so much joy.
Animals played a major role in his life. Doug had two Rottweilers as a child, Gretyl and Emma, and he was dedicated to them. He also took horseback riding lessons and could often be found in the barn with the horses. This passion for animals continued into his adult years, as he had a miniature potbellied pig named Harley.
Doug had a passion for style. During his school years, he was up early to get carefully dressed and groom his hair; he had more beauty products than anyone else in the household. Doug’s parents were often surprised when they came home in the evening to find the house had been redecorated by Doug during the day. He would also accompany his stepmother to the many fairs and festivals in which she had a booth selling clothing, jewelry, and other items. Doug would set up the booth for Jacki and enjoyed interacting with customers. He was a natural salesperson and people were instantly attracted to his personality.
Doug would not want his life defined by his addiction and mistakes. He was an individual with dreams of opening a pet hotel and doggy daycare. Doug worked in the hospitality industry, including work as a caterer and at a Country Club on a golf course. He had experience as a server and bartender, which suited his friendly and outgoing nature. Those fortunate enough to know Doug recognized him as fearless, adventurous, and a free spirit.
Doug was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Rene and Shirley Patenaude, and his maternal grandfather, James Kirker, all of Norwich, CT.
He is survived by his father, Douglas (Jacki) Patenaude of Canterbury, CT; his mother Deborah (Brendan) Trainor of Norwich, CT; grandmother Carol Kirker of Norwich, CT; siblings Makayla, Jimmy, Shane, Skye, Kameron, and Olivia; nephew Izaiah; his aunts Mary, Dianne, and Dawn, with whom he was very close, along with his cousins Andrea, Becky, and Emily, who were dear to him and will miss him very much. Garvin and Kendra were Doug’s best childhood friends. His good friend Benjamin was always there for him and tried to support and help him during his struggles.
Our family asks that you realize no one is immune to drug addiction. There were 109,000 drug overdose deaths this past year alone. During the past years, Doug’s disease took him to dark, lonely places. His family fought as hard as they could to help him, and despite their constant hope of his recovery, his life ended senselessly at a young age. His full potential will never be realized. The pain of his death is heartbreaking, which is why stories like Doug’s should not be ignored. Speaking the truth pertaining to this epidemic may be the difference between life and death for someone. In honor of Doug’s life, we would like to help raise awareness in hopes of helping other families. Doug, this did not define you. You are free and at peace now. The chase is over.
The family will have a Catholic Mass in Doug’s honor at his former school, Sacred Heart Church on Friday, July 28th with a receiving line at 1:30pm followed by a mass at 2pm. The address for Sacred Heart Church is 156 Providence Street, Taftville, CT, 06380.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Doug’s name can be made to Sacred Heart School.To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Douglas Patenaude, please visit our Tree Store