Vic Patoski

Victor PatoskiMy father, Vic, passed away recently.
Everyone has a father. Losing him is one of the most difficult aspects of this thing called life.

The obituary below was published in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

There is so much more to say but for once I am at a loss for words to really express his grace and influence, other than to say he was one of a kind, a real cool guy, a friend as well as a parent, and I'm proud to be his son. Victor Albert Patoski, 83, a longtime resident of Fort Worth, completed his well-spent life on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2006, with his wife and children at his side.

Memorial service: 2 p.m. Tuesday in the chapel of All Saints Episcopal Church, followed by a reception in DeWolfe Hall.

Memorials: In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any offerings of sympathy and support be directed to the Nature Conservancy or a charity of your choice.

Born Feb. 25, 1923, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., to parents who had emigrated to the United States from Lithuania, he attended Wilkes College and enlisted in the U.S. Navy as an aviation cadet in 1942. He learned to fly in 1943 in Corpus Christi and trained in advanced night attack combat in Illinois and Florida. He mastered the difficult and precise task of taking off from and landing F4U Corsair fighter-bombers on aircraft carriers while serving on the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt and USS Randolph in the Mediterranean in 1946 and 1947. He enlisted in the Naval Reserve and resumed his studies in 1947, graduating from Bucknell University with a degree in civil engineering. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 1951.

He moved to Fort Worth in 1954, where he worked as a design engineer at Convair, which became General Dynamics, and ultimately Lockheed Martin. He worked on an experimental B-36 nuclear bomber and later helped to design the B-58 Hustler bomber, the F-111 TFX experimental tactical fighter jet, and the F-16 Fighting Falcon. He was a parachutist for a nuclear test airplane and a member of the Naval Reserve Intelligence Division in Fort Worth.

In 1960, he married Margaret Nancy Pearson, his beloved wife of 46 years. He was active in Toastmasters and Wing & Masque Players Theatre Company, and studied Russian at TCU. Vic hosted visiting foreign students to exchange ideas and show them Texas. He strove to be supportive without being judgmental and always encouraged creativity and tolerance. Friends sought him out for his advice, gentle wisdom and mirthful sense of humor.

Among his greatest joys were walking the sands and fishing the surf of South Padre Island, taking the family out for ice cream in his 1959 Studebaker Silver Hawk, and returning to Wilkes-Barre to hike the mountain he roamed as a boy to pick wild blueberries.

After retiring in 1989, he focused on physical fitness as a regular at Lockheed's recreational gym and worked on rehabilitating properties in Venus, where he owned the bank building and two houses.

His last years were spent trying to unlock the key to dementia and Parkinson's disease, diseases he was fighting at home, surrounded by his family and faithful dogs with whom he found great comfort.

Survivors: His wife, Margaret, professor emerita at Texas Wesleyan University; daughter, Christina of Fort Worth and her husband, Johnny Reno; son, Joe Nick of Wimberley and his wife, Kristine Cummings; and grandchildren, Jake and Andrew Patoski of Wimberley.
Published in the Star-Telegram on 8/15/2006.

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