BAR HARBOR — Patrick Andrew Slattery of Kennebunkport died early Thursday, Oct. 28, at the Mount Desert Island Hospital surrounded by his loving family.
Patrick was born on April 6, 1922, in Augusta, the second child of George Andrew Slattery and Marie-Ange (Doyon). The son of an immigrant French-Canadian mother and a third generation Irish-American father, Patrick and his sisters were raised in the embrace of a large, hard-working French Canadian extended family hoping to better their lot in life in the land of opportunity.
Patrick attended parochial schools in Augusta and later, Portland, where the family relocated to seek medical help for his youngest sister who contracted terminal sarcoma of the spine at the age of four. The opportunities which Portland afforded the family in terms of schools and employment opened new horizons for Pat and his siblings. Discovering a talent and a passion for athletics, Pat was happiest when involved in the sports programs offered by the local YMCA and his beloved Cheverus High School, where football, basketball and baseball occupied his after-school attention. His star shone brightly in 1939, when he placed the foul “shot heard round the world” in the Cheverus-Winslow State Semi-Final Basketball Tournament. Cheverus went into overtime to win the trophy and go on to the State finals, a first for the relatively young school.
Disappointed but undaunted when his family could not afford college for him and no scholarship money was forthcoming, Pat took advantage of an offer in the accounting department of the MCRR all the while continuing to play baseball and basketball in the city leagues. World War II changed life in America and Pat joined the Army Airs Corps in January 1943. Off to San Antonio, Texas, Helena and Selma Alabama, Pat learned to fly single-engine P-40s and their replacement the P-51s.
Within months Pat was flying P-51s over the “hump” (Himalayas) engaged in bombing missions for the 14th Army Air Corps Division 51st Squadron from their base in Kunming China. As a member of the legendary Flying Tigers it was an exciting and challenging time for Patrick whom he loved to recall with his children and grandchildren.
In addition, the rewards for him were great when the GI Bill was quickly passed enabling him to enroll in Bowdoin College, where he was a member of the largest class in Bowdoin’s history, the Class of 1950 (Psi Upsilon).
On, June 26, 1948, he married a perky, young foreign language instructor by the name of Candy from Brunswick who shared his interests and was attracted to the handsome young man of “Cheverus fame.” They raised five children and shared a life for 61 years until her death on March 8 of this year. Wilton Academy beckoned and Pat began a career in teaching (history and government) and coaching (football).
A burgeoning family and a feeling that teaching was not his passion led Pat to embark on a new career in textiles manufacturing under a training program for Deering Milliken. He worked at various levels of management in design, marketing and administration in the textile industry from 1953 through 1987 retiring in 1987 as a VP from Tex-Tech Industries of Monmouth, and Kilkenny, Ireland. In the years before his retirement, he traveled the world marketing the tennis felts he had helped design for the tennis ball industry, also a sport he enjoyed as he gravitated toward retirement and the tennis club at Goose Rocks Beach, Kennebunkport.
Despite his full and active career, his life continued to revolve around his family and he was a pillar of strength to each of his children as they faced life’s challenges. Through his son Michael’s torturous battle with HIV and his son Joe’s tragic ordeal after a failed double lung transplant, he steadfastly stood by each of them. The highlight of his retirement was the planning and building of a new home with his son, Joe, at Goose Rocks Beach. He has spent 22 happy years living in that house along with his dear wife and his constant companions, the Dalmatian Plato, and beagle, MollyBelle.
He leaves behind his three daughters, Patrice Slattery of Winston Salem, N.C., Karen Barter and husband, Richard Barter, of Mount Desert Island and Ann Slattery of Brunswick; grandchildren include Katherine Tobin and her husband, Dan Coombs and their two children, Alexander and Nicholas Coombs of Sturbridge, Mass., Nathaniel Patrick Tobin and his wife, Noreen Flaherty and their two children, Molly and Michael Roland Tobin of Norwood, Mass., Patrick Kelley Barter of Harvard, Mass., and Joseph William Barter of Durham, N.C.; one sister, Kathleen “Kay” Werner of Portland and Long Island.
He was predeceased by three sisters, Maggie Slattery, Theresa Slattery and Jane Whitlock; his beloved wife, Candide Elise Paquette; and his two sons, Michael George and Joseph Andrew Slattery.
Condolences may be shared with the Slattery family by visiting www.bibberfuneral.com.