Patrick Christopher Mumme passed away at St. Patrick's Hospital in Missoula on Dec. 9, 2012 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident early that morning, surrounded and held by family and friends.
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Patrick was born to Christopher William and Kathleen Darby Mumme on Jan. 9, 1981 in Fontana, Calif. The family remained in Southern California until 1988 when they moved to Allentown, Pa. In 1992 they returned to his mother's hometown in Sheridan. A small school was the ideal setting for Pat. With the help of wonderful teachers he excelled in all areas, and with the guidance of his mentor and friend, Mike Morgan, Patrick earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He graduated from Sheridan High School with the Class of 1999 as its Salutatorian. He received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, but a medical condition which would prevent him from entering the flight program there caused Pat to make the decision to leave. He graduated from Montana State University in 2005 with a film and media arts degree. He was currently working as an outdoor educator with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Lander, Wyo. and for Trademark Construction in Bozeman.
Patrick embraced all that life had to offer. That philosophy and his love of learning began early. As a third grader he was remiss in learning his times tables, but was already becoming an expert on the Civil War. He decided at about nine or ten that he wanted to be a Marine Corps pilot and set out to attain that goal. For him a day was wasted if he didn't learn something new. If he was interested in a subject, an idea, he immersed himself in that subject and learned all he could (It certainly didn't hurt that he inherited his Grandpa Ted's great ability to retain every thing he learned). He avoided any sport that included a ball, and spent most of his afternoons in the outfield looking up – to the sky or to a plane flying overhead, or, on the court, eating popcorn from the bench. However, he was certainly active. He was an avid cyclist. He rode in the mountains and on the highways and thought nothing of riding 30 or 50 miles a day, several times per week. The mountains were his home. He had many mountain excursions, not the least of which were two hikes over the Tobacco Roots from Pony to Sheridan, at night. He loved to travel, and did, at every opportunity and when finances allowed. By the time he graduated from MSU he realized that the 'nine to five' life was just not for him. He always loved the mountains and Scouting had reinforced this love. His sister, Erin and brother-in-law, Chris presented him with a six-week mountaineering course with the National Leadership School in the Waddington Range of British Columbia as a college graduation present. He was hooked. From that time forward, Patrick's new goal was to become a NOLS instructor.
Many certification courses followed. He did some sailing on the east coast and in the spring of 2010 he traveled to Gibraltar to obtain certification in sailing. In the summer of 2011 he and two others sailed through the Panama Canal to Tahiti. From Baja to the Northwest and Alaska, the Tetons and the Wind River ranges to Washington, D.C., Seattle and the Oregon Coast, from Seville Spain, Morocco, Utah, to Yosemite, Glacier, London, Yellowstone and Death Valley and his beloved Tobacco Roots and Hyalite Canyon – Patrick loved and appreciated it all. He worked hard, played hard and rested hard. He loved to read, was a huge music and movie fan, loved history and space. He loved people and ideas, he was a gifted photographer and writer. To say that he loved life is an understatement. His sense of humor was keen and legendary, and while he had a laugh that may have bordered on obnoxious, it was infectious to all. He was opinionated and loved to talk. Thankfully, he was also a wonderful listener. Most of all, he loved his family, his many friends and the Earth. He loved nothing more than passing on his love and his knowledge of the outdoors to others. He was passionate about his beliefs. He was cherished, and we wonder how we will ever manage to fill the void left by his passing. He would want us to find a way.
Patrick is survived by his parents; his sister, Erin and brother-in-law, Chris Leonard, and their children, Harper and Jack of Virginia City; his sister, Kathryn Anne and brother-in-law, Eddy Colado; grandparents, Ken Mumme and Ted and Donna Darby all of Sheridan; aunts and uncles, Dan and Judy Mumme and Pat Darby of Sheridan; Jim and Bernie Darby of Bozeman; Bob and Sheila Mumme of Fillmore, Calif.; JoAnne and Tracy Stephen of Helena; and Holley and Dan Gilliam of Ft. Collins, Colo.; cousins, Ted Darby of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada; Teresa Darby of Bozeman; Brandon Mumme and Trista Dietz of Fillmore, Calif.; Scott Munk of Helena; Matt Vesco of Twin Bridges, Adam Hafnor, Seattle, Joel and Andrew Hafnor and Nikita and Natasha Gilliam all of Colorado; and friends and loved ones too numerous to mention.
A memorial service will be held at the new Sheridan gymnasium in Sheridan at 2 p.m. on Dec. 19, 2012.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the National Outdoor Leadership School's Annual Fund (784 Lincoln Street, Lander, WY 82520), and/or to the Sheridan Scholarship Foundation (227 Ruby River Dr., Sheridan, MT 59749).
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Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Dec. 12, 2012