Robert P. Patton, 88, died Sunday February 17, 2019 at home in Branford. He shared 62 years of marriage with his beloved wife Patricia Laughlin Patton. Bob will be remembered most for his whole-hearted devotion to family, leadership in the mechanical contracting industry, service to his adopted home of Meriden and countless shenanigans in a richly-lived life.
Bob was born December 4, 1930 in Cleveland, OH, son of the late Martin M. and Helen Weisheit Patton. His values were shaped early in life: at home in lessons on integrity, work ethic, education and manners and by the Jesuits of St. Ignatius High School in pursuit of faith, service and cura personalis (care for the whole person). After an early career as a journeyman plumber, Bob enlisted in the U. S. Navy to serve during the Korean War. He later earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from The Ohio State University and began his professional life at a major midwestern contractor.
Bob and Pat moved to Meriden, CT in 1966 to assume ownership of the James T. Kay Company, which under his leadership grew into a mechanical contracting leader with prominent state-wide corporate, nonprofit and government projects. Bob was committed to professional excellence as a proud member and President of the Mechanical Contractors Association of Connecticut, Master Plumber, Master Steamfitter, member of the American Society of Heating and Refrigeration Air-Conditioning Engineers and member of national committees for the Mechanical Contractors Association of America. His many civic accomplishments included roles as Chairman of the Greater Meriden Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of The Home Club, Director of City Savings Bank, Director of Home Bank and Trust, campaign fund committee for The United Way of Meriden and Wallingford, board member for Midstate Medical Center, lay leadership roles in St. Rose of Lima Church, President of the Old Men/Young Men Bowling League, member of the Meriden Building Department Board and member of the Rotary Club of Meriden. Bob served in roles as diverse as leading union negotiations to serving as master of ceremonies at civic events and staging a whimsical public relations campaign to restore Hubbard Park’s Castle Craig.
To complement his many business and civic accomplishments, Bob’s deepest commitment was to his family and friends. He found joy attending his children’s sporting events, playing Santa without need of a pillow and telling fireside stories on camping adventures. He parented with a short list of handy phrases, such as “If in doubt, don’t.” Friends loved him for his positive spirit, quick wit, and thoughtful conversation and were frequent beneficiaries of Bob’s humorous homemade gifts.
A 1970’s visit to the Thimble Islands with dear friends brought Bob and Pat to Branford for many decades of memories in the islands and Stony Creek. Nothing gave him more pleasure than sitting on the family’s Governor Island porch and sharing long and lively family dinners. In his later years, he was admired for his light-hearted leadership as both “Governor” of the island and as Commodore of the Thimble Islands Sailing Club, where he was the first to joke that the “commodore can do no wrong.” He was a parishioner of St. Therese Church and member of the Pine Orchard Yacht and Country Club.
Besides his wife, he is survived by his children Robert J. Patton (Cathy Milton) of Branford, Michael P. Patton of Glastonbury, Kathleen M. Cahill (Tim) of Excelsior, MN, Thomas M. Patton (Nancy) of Branford and Susan M. Patton (Sue West) of Downingtown, PA; his brother Martin Patton of Cincinnati, OH and sister Catherine O’Malley of Los Angeles, CA; ten grandchildren Heather Tricarico, Bobby, Brendan, Chris, Rachael, Maggie, Emily and Mitchell Patton, and James and Tom Cahill; and five great-grandchildren Benjamin, Oliver and Summer Tricarico, and Madison and Xander Patton; and five nieces/nephews. He is predeceased by his brother, The Reverend James Patton of Cleveland, OH.
Visitation will be Thursday February 28, 2019 from 4:00 - 7:00 at the W. S. Clancy Memorial Funeral Home, 244 North Main Street, Branford. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday March 1, 2019 at 11:00 in St. Therese Church at St. John Bosco Parish, 105 Leetes Island Road, Branford. A brief burial ceremony at the Stony Creek Cemetery will be followed by a luncheon.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to support the dedicated fire and rescue volunteers of Stony Creek Fire Rescue Company 5, P. O. Box 3312, Branford, CT 06405 or the Willoughby Wallace Memorial Library, 146 Thimble Islands Rd, Branford CT 06405.
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