Patrick M. Canfield

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February 21, 2013

Patrick M. Canfield, 92, of Wilmington, Del., passed away peacefully Feb. 21.

Born in New Philadelphia, Nov. 17, 1920, he was a son of the late Patrick S. and Mary Devlin Canfield.

Patrick completed his elementary education in Holy Family School and graduated in 1938 from Blythe Township High School. He graduated from West Chester State Teachers College (now West Chester University) in February 1943 and entered the Air Force. He was assigned to the 692 Air Force Band and served 38 months, 18 of which were served in the European Theater in France and Germany.

He received a master's degree in music education from Temple University in 1947.

Patrick was a very successful musician until the age of 90.

He began his teaching career at Avon Grove School District, Avondale, and after 33 years he retired in 1977 as head of the music department at the Kennett Consolidated School, Kennett Square.

Patrick was a professional trumpet player and he played first trumpet in the New Castle County Concert Band, the Upper Darby John Phillip Sousa Band, Down Beaters Dixieland Band, Wilmington and Kennett Symphony Orchestras, Frame's Volunteer Orchestra, Elmer Dill's Swing Band, and the German OOPAH Band. He also played with the Sammy Kaye Orchestra and at the DuPont Hotel Playhouse for the touring Broadway shows. He enjoyed playing piano and conducted a sing-a-long at retirement homes in Florida for 15 years. For years, he played piano and had a sing-a-long at the Ingleside Assisted Living Apartments, Wilmington, Del.

In 1963, he built, owned and directed the operations of Rosemount Camping Resort in the foothills of the Poconos in the Lewistown Valley, Schuylkill County. "Rosemount Camping Resort" attained the highest rating in the state of Pennsylvania in the leading national camping guides.

He served two terms as state president of the Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association, and two terms as the national president of the National Campgrounds Association, which included the United States and Canada. Patrick was president of the Schuylkill County Tourist Promotion Agency for eight years and chairman of the Bicentennial Committee in 1976.

In 1986, he sold the camping resort to his nephew, Michael Canfield and his wife, Marigrace.

He enjoyed living in Pennsylvania, Florida and Wilmington. When he retired, he spent his leisure time playing golf and writing newspaper articles and books. Each winter, from 1987-97, he attended advanced writing classes at Indian River Community College, Port St. Lucie, Fla.

After five and a half years of research and interviews, he completed his first nonfiction book titled, "Growing Up With Bootleggers, Gamblers, and Pigeons," a true-life saga of Schuylkill County. The book was published in 1992, with a second issue in 1993. It has sold more than 24,000 copies and is now in its third issue. The book made the best-sellers list in the southeastern section of Pennsylvania. His book is being used at Penn State University as part of the study of Pennsylvania history.

His second book, "White Ebony," was published in 1998. In 2007, he completed "Decision," "Lillian" and "The Counterfeit Lefty." In 2008, he wrote a nonfiction story of his teaching career at Avon Grove and Kennett Square school districts called, "Teaching, School with a Beat." In 2009, he wrote one of his favorite fiction books, "Cherished Blood." In 2010, the nonfiction story about his days served in World War II, "The Band Played On," was published, and in 2012, "The Chinese Basketball Connection." In 2013, he completed a children's book, "The Adventures of Johnnie and Willie," not yet edited or published; his wife, Rose, will have the book published in 2013.

He was a member of St. Catherine of Siena Roman Catholic Church, American Legion at Kennett Square, Moose Lodge, and a 60-year member of the DuPont Country Club. He volunteered as scorer and shuttle driver for the pros of the LPGA Golf Tournament, since its inception for 18 years while being played at the DuPont Country Club. Pat was an avid golfer and sports fan; Notre Dame was his special love. He volunteered by delivering Meals on Wheels and entertaining senior citizens. In 2012, Patrick was Grand Marshal at the Veterans Day Parade in Kennett Square.

Pat will be dearly missed by his beloved wife of 64 years, Rose Teoli Canfield; a sister-in-law, Helen Dowling Canfield; and many devoted nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Patrick was preceded in death by brothers, Drs. John, Thomas and Robert Canfield; and a sister, Mary Frances Pattay.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Catherine of Siena Church, Centerville Road, Wilmington, Del. Visitation will be held from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. at the church. Entombment will be held privately at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to St. Catherine of Siena Church, Catherine Fund, 2503 Centerville Road, Wilmington, DE 19808 or, in an effort to feed the hungry, to the Emanuel Dining Room, 121 N. Jackson St., Wilmington, DE 19805. Charles P. Arcaro Funeral Home, Wilmington, is in charge of arrangements.

Published in Republican & Herald on Feb. 28, 2013
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