A Mass of Christian Burial for Patrick Kelly McNamara will be 10 a.m. Monday, May 16, 2016 at St Cecilia Catholic Church, Claremore. Father Paul Eichhoff will officiate. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery, Tulsa, under the direction of MMS-Payne Funeral Home, Claremore. Visitation with the family will be from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 15, at the funeral home followed by a Prayer Service at 3 p.m. Patrick passed away on Thursday, May 12, 2016 at his home in Claremore at the age of 72.
Patrick Kelley McNamara was born March 21, 1944 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to Daniel James McNamara and Helen Lenora (Keithley) McNamara. Pat spent all his years growing up on the family dairy and cattle farm at Bushyhead working alongside with Mom and Dad and his brother and two sisters.
Patrick graduated from Chelsea High School in 1962 where he was an outstanding member of the Chelsea High School Dragons football team where he played linebacker. He started college at Northeastern A&M in Miami, Oklahoma that fall. At the end of his first semester, he transferred to the Oklahoma Military Academy to fulfill a dream he always had of going to school "On the Hill" in Claremore. Pat studied at OMA for two years and was recognized on the Oklahoma Military Academy Honor Roll. He transferred to Northeastern State College for the spring semester, 1965 to continue his education and graduated in May of 1967 with his Bachelor of Science Degree. Following graduation, Patrick continued taking courses at Northeastern State College to earn his Secondary Teaching Degree. During all the years that Pat was in college, he continued to work on the family farm and always had a job to pay for his education.
Patrick taught high school science at Foyil High School in Rogers County for many years. He did graduate work in advanced Science at Oklahoma State University in 1971. One of his greatest educational accomplishments was when he was selected in 1972 to receive a scholarship from the National Science Foundation to provide for his participation in the University of Oklahoma's Academic Year Institute in Earth Science.
He also had a year of training in the United States Forestry Service as a Fireman and worked in Idaho for one year.
Patrick worked at the Comprehensive Employment Training ACT Program in the job training department where he was a full time Counselor who identified people that needed help developing their job skills to place them in a position to gain employment. During the many years he worked for CETA, he drove a 1968 brown Rambler that he named "Chocolate Soldier". He drove his "Chocolate Soldier" all over northeastern Oklahoma until he retired it years later with 460,000 miles on the odometer. While working and driving around in the "Chocolate Soldier", Patrick often picked up hitchhikers. He would take them as far as he could, counsel with them and offer them a little money when he dropped them off.
For 27 years of Patrick's adult life, he was in charge of and taught the GED classes at Rogers State College. This important work was recognized throughout Rogers County and especially by the thousands and thousands of students he taught.
Patrick always lived in and around the Claremore area, but his pride and joy was when he was able to buy 22 acres just north of Claremore. He built his own home and over the years built his own workshop to house his many tools and all kinds of vehicles.
Patrick's number one priority in life was to help others. He told his life-long friend Ed Whistler that he knew why he was placed on this earth and that was to help people. Ed recently recalled the times when Patrick would smoke a ham and then call him and say, "Ed go with me to deliver a ham", and in almost every case, it was someone that had been really sick or really down financially.
He never met a stranger and he was often described by his family, friends, and neighbors as being the most generous and unselfish person they ever knew. When the winters started, whether it was wind, rain, ice or snow, Patrick got in his green four wheel drive Chevrolet truck and got on the road helping his neighbors and often strangers get out of ditches, repair their vehicles if needed and get them safely home.
Patrick was a great deal like his father, Daniel James and before his day ended, he would go to the hospital to see any friends that might be there.
Patrick was always tutoring his students without charge and often ended up buying their books, their lunch or dinner and gas so they could get to his GED class. The unique characteristic about Patrick was that he never told anyone about his good works. He seldom told his family, but thousands in the Claremore Community begin talking about Patrick Kelley McNamara, the most unselfish and generous person they knew.
Patrick was preceded in death by his parents Daniel James and Helen Lenora McNamara, his brother, Daniel James McNamara, Jr. and foster brother, Jeremiah Whisenhunt. Those family members that survive include his wife, Penny Sue (Henninger) McNamara of Claremore; sisters Margaret Mary (Marty) McNamara and Dr. Danette Boyle and husband Ron Boyle all of Tulsa; brother Michael John McNamara of Claremore; nephews Christopher Michael McNamara and his fiancé, Alexandra Charoenpon, Kevin Patrick McNamara and Matthew John Boyle; niece Kathleen Michele McNamara; Michele Honeyman, mother of Christopher, Kevin and Kathleen. Cousins include Dr. Elliott Howe, Sally Howe Smith, Nancy Howe Lassister, Debbie Dixon Chamberlin and Timothy Dixon.
In lieu of flowers, those who wish to honor Patrick's memory may do so with a contribution to the GED Scholarship Endowment at Rogers State University Foundation for GED students to pursue their college degree at Rogers State University.
Leave your memories of Patrick and view his tribute online at www.mmsfuneralhomes.com .
Published on May 14, 2016