Henry Patterson

Obituary of Henry D. Patterson

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Following a century-long life of goodwill and service Henry Patterson of Denville died  on August 26th.           

Born in Jersey City, NJ on June 4, 1923 he graduated from Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood where he met the love of his life Claire Zieger.   They married in 1946 and spent their lives at Cedar Lake in Denville.  Claire died in 2019.

Henry enlisted in the US Navy in 1943 and served on the USS Texas and USS Quincy.  He participated in D Day and the invasions of Southern France and Okinawa. In 2008 he was inducted into the French Ordre National De La legion of D’honneur for his contribution to the liberation of France

Following his military discharge he earned bachelor in Industrial Arts and masters degrees in education administration and environmental education from Newark State College. Hank spent most of his career teaching industrial arts at Ridgedale School in Florham Park.  Inspired by Henry, many of his students pursued successful careers        from building trades to cardiologists.  Through the years many contacted him (Hank the Plank) to thank him for being such a positive influence on  them and in  their chosen career.   Hank was especially pleased with the number of his former students who showed up at his 100th birthday party.

A lifelong Boy Scout, Henry served as Scoutmaster of Denville’s Troop 17 and was on the Troop Committee for many years.  He served on the Cedar Lake Board of Directors and supported many civic projects.

He is survived by his sons Rich and wife Marion of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Tom and his wife Mary of Gorham, Maine, grandchildren Daniel, Nancy, Sally, and James  They live respectively in New York, Alaska, Vermont, and New Hampshire.  He has three great grandchildren, Apolonia, Margaret, and Cecelia.  

Henry loved fishing, baseball, planting trees and, especially, cheering up anyone he encountered.  He brought out the best in everyone and never spoke an ill word about anyone. His was a life well lived.

As a testament to this wonderful man his family requests that the many people who admire him catch a fish,  enjoy a day outdoors, play catch with a young person, plant a tree, or cheer up someone but mostly take  time to smell the roses.

There are no services scheduled at this time.



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