November 3, 1964 — August 26, 2017
JACKSONVILLE, FL — Patrick George Lavin, 52, passed away Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017 at home in his sleep. Patrick was born in Glens Falls on Nov. 3, 1964 to Francis and Susanne. He was the fourth of five children, brother to Frank, Judy, Chris and Jim.
Patrick was raised on his family’s dairy farm in Hartford. At a young age, out of necessity and curiosity, he honed his innate mechanical abilities that paved the way for his success in every aspect of his life. His dad encouraged him to take a mail order course for small engine repair, and soon, ‘Pat’s Repair Shop’ business was in operation from the garage. Patrick was a jack of all trades.
Patrick graduated from Hartford Central School in 1982, where he played soccer for the Tanagers. He honorably served his country, enlisting in the United States Marine Corps from January 1984 to January 1988. He said Marine Corps boot camp was “like being on vacation compared to dairy farming.” He was a trained aviation structural mechanic on the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II and F/A-18 Hornet aircraft, stationed with VMFA-122 and VMFA-251, MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina. He was meritoriously promoted to Corporal and subject of many Meritorious Masts for outstanding leadership and teamwork.
In November 1985, Patrick met Barbara while both serving in the Marine Corps at VMFA-251. She owned a Suzuki TS 185 and he taught her how to change the oil in her Chevy pickup. So began their adventures together, which spanned almost 32 years. They married September 20, 1986 and became a family. Patrick was proudest to be father to Melanie, Haylie and Jacob, grandpa to Kayla Marie, father-in-law to Jeffrey and always knew that he and Barbara were best friends and soulmates.
Patrick’s professional career was anchored in manufacturing, working for CR Bard, Sealed Air, Trane and Honeywell Aerospace. Over the last ten years expanding to Environmental, Health and Safety management, his most recent position was with Kaman Aerospace, Jacksonville, Florida. During the 1990s, he worked for Raytheon as the supervisor of the United States Army 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment ‘Little Bird Project.’ He was honored to be a member of the Night Stalker Association. He earned his Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude, in May, 1999 from Midway College, Midway, Kentucky, focusing in organizational management. He was an exceptional supervisor and manager, always believing in the empowerment and positive recognition of all he was privileged to work with, side by side. He touched the lives of so many and knew everyone by name in every position he ever held. His greatest traits were his approachability, positive attitude, integrity and moral character.
Patrick was an avid hiker, bicyclist, soccer player, runner and coach, but the one constant in his life was his passion for dirt bikes, which he shared with family and many friends along the way. He competed in motocross all over the United States and rode for the pure thrill with the most amazing friends. He was happiest when playing in the dirt, talking about bikes, riders, tracks, comparing injuries among friends and watching championship series at Unadilla. His proudest moment was competing at Red Bud Vet Fest, ‘Where Old Guys Moto,’ August 21, 2010, earning first place.
He was inspired by Motocross Champion Rick Johnson, who once said: “Motocross allowed me to travel the world, meet the president and make lots of money. There are a lot of people out there who think, wow, this is a dangerous sport and look at the scars that you have and how’s it going to be getting out of bed when you’re older. I say I’d rather run it hard and wide open for a short period of time than run a slow burn for a hundred years, only to wake up some day and wonder what could have been.”
Patrick loved his family and friends fiercely. His smile lit up the world. His heart was huge and full of compassion. He was selfless and generous. He never passed up an opportunity for good conversation no matter the topic, always bragging about his children and all they’ve accomplished.
Our family extends an invitation to all who knew and loved Patrick as we celebrate his life Saturday, Nov. 4, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Adirondack MX, 10786 State Route 149, Fort Ann.
In honor of Patrick, please make a donation in his name to Farm Aid at farmaid.org.