In Memory

Norman Pattarozzi

Norman Pattarozzi

Date of death:  November 7, 2001

Residence at time of death:  Dandridge, Tennessee

Occupation:  Retired U.S. Navy captain; owner of Goose Creek Farm Bed and Breakfast

Famiy:  Wife, Karen; three sons 

Norm's life:

It will come as no surprise to those who knew him at HPHS that Norm led a globe-trotting, adventurous life. It might be a bit of a stunner that a wise-cracking, nonconformist like Norm would spend 30 years in the tightly disciplined world of the U.S. Navy.

Enlisting right out of college, he was soon in Viet Nam, commanding a 50-foot "Swift" patrol boat. In one memorable adventure, he captained one such small boat on a 750-mile delivery trip across the South China Sea from the Philippines to Viet Nam in 1967. Before leaving, Norm had talked the crew of a next door minesweeper into giving him six gallons of ice cream and 10 pounds of steak for the trip. "We ate real well," Norm told everyone.

As Norm moved up the ranks after Viet Nam, his commands included the frigate USS Blakely and the guided missile cruiser USS Dale, which he described to me at our last reunion as a "great ship that was a teriffic shooter" with its missiles.  He did a tour as engineering officer aboard the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk.  He was beloved by shipmates for his sense of humor and ability to call every sailor in the crew by name.

Along the way, Norm obtained a master's degree in foreign relations and attended various military schools, including the prestigious command and staff course.   He ended his Navy career as a captain commanding the Naval Education and Training Center in Newport, R.I.

Upon his retirement in 1994, Norm served as a town councilman in Rhode Island, then decided to move to Tennessee, where he and wife Karen opened a bed-and-breakfast. Norm also enjoyed raising Black Angus cattle, even though he had no experience in farming. He died on Nov. 7, 2001, after a rich, full life, much of it devoted to serving his country.

-- Eric Engberg



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03/03/09 02:35 PM #1    

Greta Goldt (Lee-Hershinow)

Norman was a friend of mine in high school and kept in touch from time to time . He saw so much and encouraged me to move out of my small world.I enjoyed listening to his stories and we spent alot of our time talking about what he saw in the world.
I am happy that I had Norman for a friend and will never forget him. In our last conversation over a phone call he knew how ill he was and said "see you on the other side" and I believe that will happen one day. The world was a better place for having Norman here. I know I repeatedly use the word world and I think that for awhile, the world belonged to Norman.

Greta Goldt Hershinow

08/19/09 03:25 PM #2    

Wendell Moran

Norm & I started hanging out at HPHS when we found that we were both going to start Freshman year at Southern Illinois Univ @ Carbondale. We pledged a social fraternity & went active together Fall/Winter Terms of 1959/60 & remained good friends & had great & often crazy times until his untimely death in 2001.

I have been trying to come up with words to describe what a great guy Norm is/was but Eric & Greta have done a fine job already.

The most appropriate comment that I can add is that Norm's caption in our 1959 Little Giant yearbook described him perfectly & it is as valid today as it was then:

"Virtue & genuine character in themselves speak what no words can utter."

W.L. Moran

08/31/09 02:52 PM #3    

Michael Addison

I did not know Norm that well in high school. When we had our last reunion, I learned we had something in common: we had both served in the nuclear navy. In the course of our discussion, I became more and more impressed with his achievements and his personna. I was looking forward to developing a continuing relationship with him when we lost him.

In my mind, he is an excellent example of someone who lived the motto "be all that you can be".

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