Lance Patigian

December 15, 1945 ~ July 8, 2019 (age 73)


Lance Martinez Patigian was returned to the eternal on Monday July 8th 2019. He passed at age 73 at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula close to his city of residence, Carmel California, and held closely in spirit by his family, friends, and loved ones. 

Lance was born in Modesto, California on December 15th 1945 to Frank (Armenian) and Donna Patigian (Swedish), and was raised on a farm just outside Fresno, California. The often harsh, but beautifully melodic rhythms of farm life were his earliest sculptors and he forever cherished that part of his foundation. Later in life, he even gave himself the middle name Martinez in honor of a beloved farmhand/picker. He was immensely proud of and shaped by his Armenian roots, as well. With his towering stature and strength, he was a dedicated and highly ranked high school athlete playing football and holding a shot put record in track. He graduated from Fresno High School in 1963 and went on to graduate from Fresno State, where he discovered what would become a lifelong calling to poetry while studying under the famous poet and professor, Phillip Levine. He also later attended Oregon State University, and taught at UC Irvine, and University of Utah, although he did not ultimately complete degrees at any of them. Within his one life, he lived many. A renaissance man of sorts, at different times he worked as a cab driver, a firefighter, a logger, and most lastingly a poet, photographer, and artist, receiving recognition for and showing his work in Arizona, California, and Mexico, and even more widely, in print. 

Throughout his life, Lance was also a husband, a father, a dear friend, an outlaw, a lover, a passionate cook, and a true wild man. He lived life on his terms, boldly, loudly, without compromise or apology. He was highly intelligent, witty, and vast in his adventures and exploits. He was a dazzling storyteller, cutting and powerful wordsmith, and had a strange and glorious sense of humor. He was an avid lover of media, with a particular adoration for and astounding knowledge of film and music, and he loved to drive, preferably along the coast—just drive, with the music blaring, and the windows down. 

He is survived by his four daughters, Teddy (Bryan) Magana-Patigian, Vaiya Simmons, Ramona (Matt) Itule-Patigian, and Jamaica Itule-Simmons; his grandchildren Joana Ramos, Azucena Itule-Ramos, Amalea Itule-Ramos, and Joaquin Sage Magana-Patigian; ex-wife and dear friend Scheryle Simmons; and multiple lifelong “brothers” including, but not limited to Garrett Hongo, David St. John, and Jimmie (Cissy, Max, Lisa) Baloian. 

Lance’s life was blazing, messy, spectacular, worn, and shimmering and he will be deeply missed by the many he touched, partied with, cared for, and influenced. 

I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places… I’ll be looking at the moon, but I’ll be seeing you 

Services will be held on August 31st 2019 in Monterey, Ca.  Please contact for event specific details.

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