CHELSEA, Manhattan (PIX11) — Melissa Buchholz said she’s doing her best to focus on the good times she shared with her husband of 27 years, Duane Patterson.

“This year wasn’t good for the holidays because of this situation,” Buchholz told PIX11 News on Tuesday.

But that’s been a tall order since the early morning hours of Christmas Eve when an unidentified suspect threw a fatal, blind-sided punch at the 61-year-old bouncer in front of Billy Mark’s West bar in Chelsea.

Buchholz had nothing nice to say about the suspect, as seen in the police-issued video and photos. He is still on the loose.

“The bar was already closed, and this guy approached the bar, and it looked like he was trying to get in. So, my husband Duane went outside to speak with him. And the officers said that they were arguing face-to-face,” said Buchholz. “And Duane went to go back inside, and that’s when this guy cold-cocked him on the left side, and then Duane fell back onto the sidewalk, and the guy ran.”

Doctors at Bellevue Hospital declared Patterson – an Air Force veteran – brain dead on Christmas Day. Patterson was also an organ donor, and late last week, his younger sister received one of his kidneys.

Bar patron Louis said he went down to Billy Mark’s West Tuesday night to have a drink in honor of the man he says was more than a bouncer.

“He was a friend. And I told people I just found out my friend died. Not that a bouncer died or someone that I knew. He was a friend of mine,” said Louis. “And that’s how I saw him. And he was a friend to everybody. He was a great person.”

Buchholz said this tragedy has taken away her best friend, a wonderful father, and a friend.

“It’s just a real doggone shame, ya know? My heart is very heavy. And the more I speak of him, the more I get that rock in my throat. I would like him to come home,” Buchholz added.

Duane Patterson leaves behind Buchholz, his wife of 27 years, and their 25-year-old daughter, who lives out of state. A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist the family.