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 WASHINGTON- Donald McNamara 84, passed away at his home on December 9, 2016 of natural causes.

    Graveside services will be 2:00 P.M. Monday, December 19, 2016 at Grandview Cemetery in Saco. Condolences for the family may be left at www.kirkwoodfuneralhome.com

    Donald Patrick McNamara was born in Glasgow on March 17, 1932 to Don and Anice McNamara and passed from this world to the next on December 9, 2016. He grew up in Saco, attended school in Beaverton for a while and graduated from Saco High School in 1950. His life as a child revolved around family - brothers David, Curtis, and Barry and sister Sallie, grandparents, J. T. and Sallie Reynolds, aunts (Mabel), uncles (Maurice, Barnard, and Lucian), and cousins (Stan Barnard especially). Patrick (Don) was a great thinker- at times- too much. He often told of how he passed the time as a child thinking of many things when he was on a tractor while working in the fields of his Grandfather, J. T. Reynolds.

Click for larger image    He attended grade school in Beaverton and went to high school in Saco where he was captain of the football team. Upon graduating from high school in 1950 he entered college at Montana State College in Bozeman where he studied chemistry. On June 22,1952 Patrick married the love of his life, Bernice Erickson. In 1954 their first child, Donna Mae, was born to them in Bozeman. Upon graduating from college with a degree in Chemistry, Patrick, joined the Air Force as a First Lieutenant. His first assignment was at Lowery AFB (?) in Colorado. In 1956, the family boarded a plane and began the journey across the Atlantic Ocean for their new home in England where Patrick was stationed at Sculthorpe Air Force Base. I don't remember exactly what Dad did when he was stationed in England, but I kind of think it had to do with getting rid of old unexploded bombs from World War II. I can remember pictures of dad with piles of bombs taken when he was at work.

    As their first home, the family rented an upstairs apartment from an older couple, Mr. And Mrs. Dack, in Dereham, Norfolk County. The family welcomed a new member when Dale Patrick was born on June 5, 1956. Bernice often said that when she boarded the plane to England it was on the last day she was eligible to fly while being with child. For their second home in England they chose a house known as Meadowview in Necton, Swaffham, Norfolk County. It was an old brick house that had been built in the 1800s and had large rooms, fireplaces, and high ceilings. It was located across the street from an old Anglican church and Patrick would sit, looking out the upstairs window at night at the shadowy image of the church and adjoining cemetery and tell stories to his daughter. He was a great storyteller. On November 19, 1957, Stephen Wayne, was born at home with the help of a midwife. In 1959 Patrick was reassigned to Hill Air Force Base, in Clearfield Utah, where he served until 1963. On December 6, 1961, Michael Ernest was born at the base hospital. The family was now complete. Patrick and Bernice bought a house in Clearfield where he enjoyed landscaping the yard, building a patio, fence, gardening, and making a play yard in which his children could play. While the family lived in Clearfield they enjoyed taking trips to Salt Lake to go to the Lagoon and Hogle Zoo, went camping in the Wasatch Mountains and Bear Lake (it was here that they feared they had lost Steve, but were lucky and found him), toured Salt Lake City and the Mormon Tabernacle with the 100 year old wedding cake in it. They went to see the Great Salt Lake and the Great Salt Flats and marvel at Antelope Island. After getting out of the service, Patrick worked for a time at the University of Utah. In 1965 the family pullled up roots and moved back to Montana. In 1967 he was divorced.

    In 1971, Patrick (Don) began working as a research Chemist for the civil service at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver. He worked in the field of Diabetic research until he retired. In 1984 or 85 he moved from Denver to the Seattle area where his daughter lived with her husband. He stayed in the Seattle Metro area until the time of his death.

    Patrick had a life that was interrupted in 1963 by mental illness. He fought this illness for years. It affected his life, work and family in ways that caused scars still felt today. Mental illness is a disability that causes lives to explode. Things are never the same. Who knows why this happened, but with the development of a new drug, Resperidone, he was able to function and live a somewhat normal life. He was constantly traumatized by irrational thoughts. His intelligence was a burden in that he was never able to stop thinking and fixating on problems and issues that had no answers. He loved to read and had a huge library full of books about Science, History, and Religion. No light reading was found here, it was deep subjects. He wrote numerous letters to his family and friends. Many of his letters were filled with musings about subjects that they could not understand or had no interest in. Science and religion waged a war in his mind until the day he died. Such is the burden of being a genius who was battling demons inside. When people would not respond to his letters he would become frustrated, and then he found the internet. Now he could communicate with his family and search for answers on the world wide web. This was largely to no avail.

    Fun times in Patrick's life included the time when he and Bernice traveled went to the Worlds Fair in Brussels, Belgium when they lived in England. His daughter, Donna, accompanied him on two unforgettable journeys. One was a train trip to Virginia to see his sister, Sallie. While there he toured Virginia, visiting many places we both had heard about during our lives. Times such as visiting Huckleberry Hill where his ancestors came from; seeing the Barnard Store where his great grandfather, Jehu Barnard (a CSA veteran and prisoner of war in a northern prison during the civil war) worked as a postmaster; and driving in the countryside admiring the Blue Ridge Mountains, taking pictures, and being asked in by people who let him take pictures of the valley below from a prime vantage point, and discovering they were related. Other sights on the trip included driving up to Washington DC and seeing the Supreme Court Building, the Lincoln Memorial, the White House that was shrouded in scaffolding as they did repairs, the National Cathedral, the Vietnam and WWII memorials and other sights. Hopping back on the train and taking the southern route to California where he and Donna visited Disneyland, toured San Francisco, and visited his dale, Dale and wife, Maggie in San Jose. The trip ended with taking the train up the coast and back to Seattle. If you ever get the chance, I would highly recommend taking a trip in a sleeper car on Amtrak. Patrick and Donna also journeyed to the Grand Canyon one summer. The colors and vistas there are truly grand. There were a couple summers when he came to Montana and went with Donna when she worked in living history museum in Nevada City, MT. While there Patrick rode the stagecoach and took the fire truck tours in Virginia City. He sat at the gate to Nevada City visiting with the tourists and other living historians; many of whom have asked about him through the past years.

    Beyond all his problems and oddities, Patrick was a man who loved his family deeply. He could not understand why many of them never commented on his ideas that he wrote about. He could not comprehend that they did not think on the same levels as he did. He loved his children, grandchildren, and other relatives. He loved Bernice immensely even though their marriage ended long ago; they remained friends for life. He has a lifelong friend, Ray Giebel, whom he met in college and were brothers together in the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He fought this condition of mental illness for more than 50 years. There were ups and downs, but he weathered them all.

    Patrick fought many battles during his life. He faced many hardships and suffered great losses, yet through it all he prevailed. Now he has attained a much deserved peace.

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