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James Burns Patrick

1923 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
James Burns Patrick Obituary
James Burns Patrick

Age: 93 • Staunton

James Burns Patrick, son of Joseph Cecil and Leah (Burns) Patrick, born Oct. 16, 1923 in Kansas City, MO., passed away February 26, 2017 at his home with family at his side. He was the devoted husband of Eleanor (Dean) Patrick, with whom he shared 70 years of marriage.

A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University (PhD), he served as a combat engineer in the US Army during WWII. A noted research chemist, he worked for the National Institutes of Health and Lederle Laboratory as Antibiotic Research Scientist prior to becoming head of the Chemistry Department at Mary Baldwin College, 1967-1992, and was the first holder of the Caroline Rose Hunt Distinguished Chair of Natural Sciences. He authored 28 technical papers and held seven U.S. patents. In 1983, he was Chair of the Virginia Section of the American Chemical Society and was recipient of the ACS Distinguished Service Award.

He was the founding President of Historic Staunton Foundation, was a past president of the Augusta County Historical Society, and a member of the Forum Club and Staunton Kiwanis Club. He was also founder of the Virginia Gun Owners and Sportsmen's Alliance and a founding member of the Conservative Party of New York. He was Elder Emeritus at Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church, where he taught Sunday School for over 40 years.

Described by a former student as a true Renaissance man, he had a wide range of interests including chess, languages (German, Latin, Greek, Russian, Chinese), woodworking, playing the violin, hunting, military history, biblical scholarship, and politics.

He was predeceased by his parents, his wife, daughter Penelope Burns Patrick Biskey, and sister Katherine Ann Patrick.

Survivors are his children Pamela (Reese Bull), Mount Solon; James C. (Charlotte), Edinburg; and Melissa of Staunton; eight grandchildren: Rachel B. Magee (James), Emily B. McCarthy (Conor), George Biskey (Ashley), James Biskey (Amanda), Christopher Ryerson, Leah Patrick, Jacob Patrick, and Curtis Patrick; a step-grandson Daniel Barb; and nine great-grandchildren.  He is also survived by sister Eileen Patrick of Clearwater, Fl. and son-in-law Alan D. Biskey.

The family wishes to thank devoted long-term care-givers Dianne Swiger and Tina Lutz who were with him to the end and the other caregivers of CareAdvantage.

Services will be Saturday, March 4 at 1:00 at Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church. Family Visitation will be Friday, March 3, 6-8pm at Henry Funeral Home, Staunton.

Pallbearers will be Alan Biskey, Reese Bull, James Magee, Conor McCarthy, George Biskey, James Biskey and Daniel Barb. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Staunton Kiwanis Club.

Those desiring to make memorial contributions may donate to Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church, Mary Baldwin University, or Hospice of the Shenandoah.

Condolences may be sent to the family at
Published in The News Leader from Mar. 1 to Mar. 4, 2017
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