Patterson remembered for giving ways

August 29, 1998|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

Family and friends of Keith H. Patterson, who died Thursday at age 41 of a heart attack, praised him for his years of volunteer work in the Rotary Club, Boy Scouts, his church and the American Heart Association.

Patterson's death was unexpected, said his father, Raymond C. Patterson.

His son's physical troubles began in the spring of 1997, when he suffered an infection. The antibiotics he was given ruined an aorta valve, requiring an operation to replace it, his father said. Antibiotics also caused his kidneys to fail and he had to undergo dialysis, his father said.

Later, a second infection developed and antibiotics again affected his heart. He underwent a six-hour corrective operation early this week at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore and was doing fine, his father said.

"We had a two-hour visit with him and he said he expected to come home Wednesday. He was upbeat and optimistic, then Thursday he had a cardiac arrest. They worked on him for 45 minutes, but he died. It was very unexpected," his father said.


John Hershey III, past president of the Hagerstown Rotary Club, said Patterson "touched the lives of this community in genuine ways."

Daniel Schukraft, Rotary president, said Patterson could be "counted on for a long-term commitment. He was modest and unassuming."

Kay Hoffman, vice president of field services for the American Heart Association in Hagerstown, said Patterson was a longtime volunteer with the agency. He always helped with its annual Heart Walk and other projects.

"I don't think you'll find a person around here with a bigger heart. He really gave to the community, a role model and a very hard worker. It makes me understand why I work so hard for the Heart Association," Hoffman said.

Patterson was president of Patterson Insurance Agency.

Not only was he active in the Mason-Dixon Council of the Boy Scouts of America, he also ran his own troop as Scoutmaster, said Mark Tyson of Greencastle, Pa., executive director of the council.

"I knew Keith very well. He was one of three key people on the council. Whatever we asked him to do he bent over backward to do it."

This spring Patterson received the Silver Beaver Award, the highest volunteer honor given out by the Boy Scouts, Tyson said.

"I know it was a difficult past year for Keith, but I thought he was doing well," Tyson said.

Patterson's father said the family found an Eagle badge, Scouting's highest award, in his suitcase at the hospital. His stepson, Justin S. Moser, earned the badge and Patterson was going to present it to him at a ceremony next month.

"He was very close to the boy," Raymond Patterson said of his son.

Al Boyer, a Hagerstown City Councilman, said he knew Patterson as a friend and neighbor. "He had a great attitude toward life. I personally will miss him very much."

The Herald-Mail Articles