Gerald J. Patesel Jr.
1926 - 2020
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"Mr. Gerald", age 94 departed this life on April 10, 2020. He was born on February 18, 1926 in Poquoson, VA to Gerald (Sr.) and Mary Patesel. He grew up in the Messick area of Poquoson and was always proud of his "Bull Island" heritage that traces back close to 200 years. After graduating from Poquoson High School he enlisted in the U. S. Navy serving on the USS Ocelot in the Pacific until the end of WWII. Upon his return he completed several courses at William & Mary under the GI Bill and married his high school sweetheart Emma Jean Montgomery from Seaford, VA. They began their life's journey that lasted for 47 years and had two children, Jean Denise and Gerald James, III. Mr. Gerald began his civil service career with the Air Force at Langley Air Force Base that afforded him the opportunity to travel the world and to play a part in ensuring the readiness of our military services. He retired as Chief of Logistics and Supply for Tactical Air Command after 42 years and spent several years as a consultant for local defense contractors. Mr. Gerald spent his life in the service of his church and community. He served on the finance and building committees as well as the Administrative Board and Council of Ministries of Trinity United Methodist Church. He taught Sunday school classes for many years and would be the first to arrive each Sunday to open the church and start making the coffee. He attended the twice weekly Trinity Aerobics class for over 20 years. He also attended the weekly Peninsula Christian Fellowship Prayer Breakfast for 25 years. Mr. Gerald always found ways to serve his community. He served two terms on the Poquoson School Board and on the Poquoson Parks and Playground Commission. He was a Cub Scout leader and he coached Little League and Babe Ruth baseball. He was a seventy year member of the Poquoson Masonic Lodge and he volunteered for the MedTran transportation and Meals on Wheels programs of the Peninsula Agency on Aging for over 15 years. Mr. Gerald would start his days by meeting his buddies for breakfast and then working around the house. He never stayed in one place for too long. He enjoyed doing yard work as evidence of his wearing out three to four riding lawn mowers over time. He always enjoyed being around others and having a good laugh. There are many people to thank who assisted Mr. Gerald during his short illness: the Poquoson Rescue Squad staff who always conducted themselves in a compassionate and professional manner, Linda Smith Koop and her team of home health aides who not only provided needed assistance but outstanding companionship as well, and the Poquoson Exchange Club who provide tremendous support to Poquoson residents. Special gratitude goes to two of Mr. Gerald's best buddies who were there whenever and for whatever was needed: Tommy Forrest and Bob Speechley. Due to the Covid-19 guidelines a private burial will be held on 4/16/2020 and a celebration of Mr. Gerald's life will be held at a later date. Given the current environment, the family asks that in lieu of flowers or donations that everyone make additional check-in contacts with your family and neighbors to ensure their safety. Mr. Gerald never wavered from his devotion to his faith, family, and community. There is no doubt that he is now in his heaven. He is joking and cutting up with his buddies and friends. He has been reunited with the two people that he respected more than anyone, his mom and dad. He is sitting holding the hand of the only woman he ever loved. He is thanking his God for the wonderful life and he is at peace. Condolences to claytorrollins.com

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Published in Daily Press on Apr. 15, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
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10 entries
June 27, 2020
Worked for Mr Patsel while stationed at Langley from 1979 thru 1983 as a Command Allowance Equipment Manager. Our offices were in the basement of the HQ TAC building at that time and I had the honor of being trusted by him to work several projects. Always had a strong feeling that I never wanted to let him down in the performance of my duties as he was always professional in his demeanor just like the military. This was the first time I worked for a civilian while in the military and it was the last as I retired after working for him. Great way to end a career with the memory of him as my superior. Finally thanks for the photo in the obit. It is exactly how I remember him.
SMsgt (Ret) Pardee J Woods Jr.
Coworker
April 17, 2020
To the Patesel family and many dear friends of Mr. Gerald, I give my deepest condolences. Mr. Gerald was a Bull Island legend. I have known him for most of my life and will remember his ability to make everyone feel like they were significant. I can't remember, ever seeing him without a smile on his face. I, like many, will miss having him with us.
Earl Humphrey
April 16, 2020
What a wonderful and supportive father Mr Patesel
was for Jean and Gerald! Each time I saw this proud dad, he had a smile, kind word, and wanted to know about you. I have such fond memories of him. He will be remembered for his many contributions, long life, and as a "father" to Poquoson. Rest in Peace with the loved ones you have joined. Janet Millard
April 16, 2020
I would like to express my sincere sympathy, especially to Gerald Patsel, III, and the family and friends of Mr. Gerald. May God bless this wonderful man throughout all eternity.
Margaret Henton
April 15, 2020
Rest in peace, Gerry. Working with you at HQ TAC/LGSE was a pleasure, and I cherish the memories.
Larry Anderson
April 15, 2020
Denise and Gerry,

Please accept my condolences on the loss of your father. It was an honor to have known such a GENTLEMAN. I will truly miss his presence, wit and wisdom.
Andrea Fortier
April 15, 2020
A delightful gentleman who always had a smile for you. He was interesting and fun to talk with and always willing to lend a hand. He will be missed and always remembered. My sincere condolences to his family.
Dee Klapperich
April 15, 2020
So sorry for your loss. Great man!
E T Firth. Jr
April 14, 2020
We will always remember the many Christmas Eves with crab soup with crab from Poquoson. Especially the one we all huddled around the fireplace due to a power outage. Gerald and Don concocted crab on the grill with crackers and sauce.. Desert and Don Pedro...Fun and comradeship was enjoyed by all, especially Grandmama. It was our privilege and joy to know Gerald and his family.


Shirley and Don Zupka and Family
April 14, 2020
Gerald was a wounderfull friend .We served together as members of the Poquoson Parks & play grounds commission a long ,long time ago .We had some great fun and he gave a lot of his time helping to improve Poquoson .My deepest condolence to all the family. RIP my friend
John Watkins
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