Though I haven’t seen Pat in several years…family, work and distance took its toll…I expected to see him at the O’Callahan Society Reunion at the Holy Cross Fall Homecoming. It had been too long since I had a chance to return – I was sure I was going to see Pat. When I heard of his passing, I was stunned. As my Mom said,” he was too young”…and in my mind too full of life.
Pat was so very special, he and Joanie took a shy, unconfident ROTC college program midshipman, obtained a scholarship so I could continue at Holy Cross, and developed me into a successful student, midshipman and finally in 1981 a Marine Corps 2nd Lt. There were some very special highlights for me…first female Battalion Commander, only Marine Corps option to graduate in 1981, he was a wonderful mentor. I have used his care and compassion for all people as a model for my own successful 23 year career as a Marine. I was able to say I could wake up every day after making tough personnel decisions and be comfortable with who I had become; much of it a tribute to Pat’s mentorship.
I think the small world of the Marine Corps can be told in this short anecdote – I graduated from Holy Cross right before Pat left as the MOI. Jay Burzak took his place….and met his future wife while at Holy Cross. His future wife is my first cousin….that is a small world!
Pat will always have a special place in my heart.