Patrick Earl Hiatt (Pat) passed from this life on June 15, 2021 in Frederick, Maryland. He was born on June 8, 1942 in Pontiac, Michigan to Myrtle Mae Kyes and William Joseph Collins. He was later adopted by his stepfather, Vern Hiatt.
In addition to his parents and two half-brothers, he was preceded in death by a stepdaughter and a step-grandson. He is survived by his wife, Judy, and three stepchildren, Brian Reniker, Sr. of Burleson, Texas, Louisa Egen of San Jose, California and John Reniker of Cleburne, Texas; 5 step-grandchildren and 4 step-great-grandchildren; also by 3 nephews, Tom, Dan and Mike Collins of Manton, Michigan and numerous cousins.
Pat spent most of his childhood in Omaha, Nebraska and Eau Clare, Wisconsin. He began a love of and talent for art in his pre-school years. He excelled in the subject and paid for much of his higher education by selling his paintings. He attended University of Wisconsin at Madison and the American Academy of Art in Chicago; however, he spent much of his career working as an engineer with a steady paycheck.
He served 3 years in the U.S. Army, worked for NASA during the Apollo 11 Moon Landing and at General Dynamics in Fort Worth, Texas where he met Judith Ann Saunders. They were married in 1981 and later moved to a small farm near Godley, Texas. Both were animal lovers and they took in many strays during their 17 years there. In 1999, Pat accepted a job with a government contractor in Washington, DC and when they moved to Frederick, they brought 14 cats and 2 dogs with them. Pat was working in downtown DC as an IT deployment engineer on 9/11.
He retired in 2007 and they decided to stay in Frederick where they were comfortably settled, had made friends and where there was more opportunity to pursue his art. Pat was president of the Frederick County Art Association for 3 years while Judy served as hospitality chairman. He held several one-man shows, took part in numerous exhibits and was beginning to sell paintings again before they both developed health issues which demanded most of their time.
Pat had started writing a book of historical fiction several years ago, mostly during his long train commutes to his job in DC. After he retired, it was set aside at times for various reasons but never forgotten. It meant a great deal to him when it was published just a couple of days before he became ill again.
His last day was a good one. He had been recovering beautifully from a heart valve replacement surgery slightly over 2 weeks earlier. He still tired easily but felt great and had begun walking every day and performing light tasks. After his walk that last morning, he made a short trip out to the drive-thru window at a pharmacy and a quick stop at a grocery store.
Pat was a little tired when he got home but took a good nap and said he felt fine when he woke up. He cooked a nice dinner which they ate while watching the news. He started talking so they muted the TV and had an uplifting conversation. He began with how nice it was to share dinner and watch a little TV with a compatible companion and how blessed they were to have a comfortable home and an adequate income. He mentioned the many health issues he had faced in the past 2 years but that he had come through it and thought they had a few good years ahead of them. He spoke of how grateful he was that his book was published and how he planned to autograph and write a personal note in copies he had ordered for special friends. He really cherished the wonderful friendships so many in Frederick had shown him.
Pat went to bed that night a happy man and he never really woke up. His body lingered a few days but despite everything that could be done medically, a priesthood blessing and many prayers, he passed peacefully. He is now an even happier man.
A graveside service with military honors will be held at 10:00 AM on Saturday, June 19th in the Veterans Garden of Honor I at Resthaven Memorial Gardens, 9501 Catoctin Mountain Highway, Frederick, Maryland. In lieu of flowers, donations in Pat’s memory may be made to the Fredrick County Humane Society (fchs.org).
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