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Walter Warren "Pat" Eyer

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Walter Warren 'Pat' EYER Walter Warren 'Pat' Eyer died January 16 on Whidbey Island, WA of complications caused by dementia. He was 77. Pat was born in Bozeman, Mt. on St. Patrick's Day in 1933, thus the nickname that followed him through life. Pat entered the University of Montana. There he met and later married his life's companion, Valorie Gierke. In 1955 Pat was chosen as a Rhodes Scholar, one of 32 Americans selected. At Oxford's Hertford College he read jurisprudence. In 1957, Pat married Val prior to going to Germany as an officer in the army. Erin Elizabeth was born in 1960. In 1961 Pat entered Stanford Law School, where he served on the Law Review. His interest in international law brought him to Perkins Coie in Seattle. In late 1960, Pat went to Taiwan to advise China Airlines in restructuring and purchasing Boeing planes. In 1972 he traveled to Peking (Beijing) negotiating the first postwar commercial sale of any kind to China. He was recognized as one of the leading world experts in the field of aircraft finance. A true professional, Pat had high standards, strong loyalties to the firm and to Boeing, a sharp mind and an irreverent sense of humor. His teaching skills were excellent and he willingly served as a mentor to other successful lawyers in the firm. His humility rejected pretensions or pomposity. Pat devoted hours to improving the lives of the disabled including negotiating with Seattle Public Schools to provide education for all, establishing the Northwest Center for Retarded, and creating Spring Meadow, a group home for developmentally disabled. He served on the board of Creative Living, an organization with national impact on the lives of people with disabilities. During his years at Oxford, Pat made Europe his classroom and playground. In his role as international lawyer, he traveled widely both solo and with Val. After retiring, Erin joined them. Every continent with the exception of Antarctica was on their itinerary. Pat loved it all as is recorded in his photography. He especially treasured time with Erin, poet, painter and loving companion whose retirement poem to him validated his life's philosophy with the following lines: 'Yield not to winds passing through. Hold fast, my dad.' At the core of his life were his wife and their daughter Erin. His love and humor sustain them now. Other family members who survive him are his sister Lynn Whitman of Boulder, CO, two nephews and a niece. A private memorial observance will be held.
Published in The Seattle Times on Feb. 13, 2011
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