Patrick Morris Meyer, 76, died on the evening of Monday, November 16, 2020, at Spaulding Hospital in Cambridge, Mass. He is the beloved husband of Joyce Anne (Krysiak) Meyer, with whom he traveled the world and cherished the comforts of home during fifty-two years of marriage.
Patrick was born in San Diego, Calif., on September 25, 1944, the son of the late Clarence and Margaret (Criswell) Meyer. In the mid-1950s, the family moved to the Rogue Valley region of Southern Oregon, where Patrick learned to hunt and fish with his brothers and formed an abiding love of the outdoors. Patrick graduated as salutatorian from Eagle Point High School in 1962 and entered the University of Oregon, where he became a proud member of the Delta Chi fraternity. Interrupting his studies to enlist in the United States Army, Patrick served in the Vietnam War with the 101st Airborne and earned numerous distinctions, including a Bronze Star Medal. After his tour of duty, he was stationed in Germany, where he and Joyce spent their first year of marriage in the town of Herzogenaurach and their son Stephen was born in 1969. Patrick was honorably discharged that year, having achieved the rank of captain.
Returning to the United States, Patrick and Joyce settled in Joyce’s hometown of Lowell, Mass., where their daughter Jennifer was born in 1974. Patrick completed his bachelor’s degree in history at Lowell State College and his master’s degree in education (with an emphasis in administration and supervision) at the University of Lowell. He continued his graduate work at Boston University, earning his CAGS in 1979.
Patrick was a career educator, whose professional achievements accrued from his tireless work ethic, his deep moral integrity, and his gift for encouraging and uplifting the work of his students, staff, and teachers. He began his career at Nashoba Regional High School, where he taught history and served as Media Lab Director for more than a decade. During these years, Patrick also cultivated a vibrant summer vegetable garden and played an active role in youth sports, instilling values of teamwork, sportsmanship, and perseverance as the coach of numerous football, basketball, soccer, and softball teams.
In 1988, Patrick and Joyce made the leap that altered the course of their lives when they took their first overseas teaching jobs at the Karachi American School in Pakistan. While Patrick began his time in Karachi as a civics teacher, his natural leadership skills quickly became apparent, and by the end of his tenure he had been promoted to Secondary School Principal. Meanwhile, a new world opened up, as Patrick and Joyce found their place among a community of expats who shared their commitment to education as well as their sense of adventure and willingness to immerse themselves in other cultures. In the coming years, their children joined them for exciting--and sometimes comical--expeditions in Egypt, Thailand, and Sri Lanka, among other places. Patrick and Joyce went on to live and work overseas for twenty-three years, building a network of friends and colleagues that spans the globe to this day. After Pakistan, Patrick continued to burnish his administrative credentials in Thailand, China, and Ukraine, and later served as the director of schools in Burkina Faso, Tunisia, and Zambia.
In retirement, Patrick and Joyce divided their time between Nashua and Paris while they continued to explore the world, traveling on their own and with family friends to Ireland, Antarctica, Peru, China, and other far-flung destinations. Perhaps the most meaningful of all these trips came in 2018, when Patrick and Joyce celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary by traveling through Germany with their children and grandchildren. Over the course of two weeks they revisited many of their old haunts, including the Army base and their first apartment in Herzogenaurach where it all began. Patrick loved nothing more than having his whole family together, and to see him at the head of the table at the Hofbräuhaus in Munich was to witness him at his happiest.
In addition to travel, Patrick was an avid theatergoer. He and Joyce were season ticketholders with the Merrimack Repertory Theatre and the Apollinaire Theatre Company, made annual pilgrimages to the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore., and attended the Paris opera often.
Among the many pleasures of being at home in Nashua, Patrick enjoyed special bonds with a cohort of family pets, who were drawn to his innate gentleness and generosity with treats, and who took turns napping at his side. On fine summer days, he often fantasized about buying a convertible so he could cruise around in style with his granddogs, Faustus and Max.
Patrick’s most cherished time was spent with his family, to whom he gave everything: wise counsel, unwavering support, easygoing company, appreciation for simple pleasures, a bold vision of life’s possibilities, and unconditional love. Above all, Patrick was devoted to Joyce. He adored her from the night they met on a dance floor in 1966 and made sure she knew it every day until the very end. For his wife, children, and grandchildren, Patrick was a man of exceptional honesty and goodness. We were immensely proud of him and will miss him deeply.
In addition to his wife, Joyce, he is survived by his children, Stephen R. Meyer and his wife Erin Brown of Portland, Maine, and Jennifer K. Nelan and her husband Terence of Madbury, N.H.; his grandchildren, Zoe Meyer, Jacob Nelan, and Owen Nelan; and his brother Joseph Meyer and sister-in-law Nancy Meyer of Canby, Ore. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Patricia (Krysiak) Murphy and her husband Maurice Murphy of Westford, Mass.; his extended family, including Cecilia DiBella of Portsmouth, N.H., along with several nieces, nephews, and cousins; and many dear friends.
Patrick was predeceased by his brothers, Michael, Daniel, and Timothy; his sisters, Theresa, Roberta, Patricia, and Kathleen; and his sister-in-law, Barbara Krysiak.
The Meyer family will hold services and a burial for Patrick in spring 2021, when it is safe to gather in celebration of his life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Patrick’s name to the National Veterans Foundation and Save the Children.
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