Patah was a man I could easily write a book about and I was so lucky to have spent as much time with him as I did. I don't remember but apparently I named him "Patah" because I couldn't pronounce Grandpa when I was little. He was one of the reasons that I decided to attend college in Washington, DC and having him nearby was always such a comfort.
He used to tell me stories about his time in India and China with the Navy. My favorite was about his Naval unit's pet monkey in India named Bobo. Bobo was fond of eating the green paint that the Navy used to paint oxygen bottles, which Patah would chuckle and explain... didn't end well for Bobo. Patah would then proudly explain the green paint was used to paint the oxygen bottles containing liquidated oxygen that he helped develop so it could be transported in an aircraft. This was critical at the time because traditional oxygen bottles exploded from the lack of air pressure in the atmosphere.
I have so many great memories: visiting him as a child, chasing fire flies, picking blackberries, going to the Outer Banks every year, going to Navy vs. American University basketball games, introducing him to my then girlfriend an now wife, and even living in his house. Sarah and I feel so fortunate to have been able to share our wedding with him. We couldn't think of a more perfect location than the Outer Banks, which is truly one of his legacies.
I love you and will miss you Patah. Thank you for all of the memories.