Puffin trips to Machias Seal Island - more puffins than anywhere in Maine!



Andrew Frost Patterson, 66, died March 25, 2023, in a plane crash on Johns Island, South Carolina. He was born in New York City, on December 3, 1956, the son of Jack Eugene Patterson (1925-2016) and Barbara Frost (1927-1998). He is the husband of Renee Yates Patterson and the father of Linus David and Anna Catherine Patterson. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Joanne Zach, nephew Owen Zach and sister-in-law Martha Gunnarson.

Andy grew up mostly in New York, other than a few middle years in Atlanta, where his father was Businessweek's bureau chief and his mother was a civil rights advocate. He was predeceased by his sister Catherine, (1960-1968), who died of cystic fibrosis, his mother and father, and his two older brothers, Philip Zach (1953-2000) and Adam Zach (1951-2011). Even though his parents divorced, by his own account he had a very happy childhood filled with love.

Andy graduated from Mamaroneck High School in New York in 1974, then spent a semester at Ithaca College before transferring to University of Maine, where he would graduate in 1979 with a BA in history, and a concentration in economics and law.

Andy's first love was music, and he spoke often of begging his father for a guitar. Eventually he got that guitar, and playing music would become an integral part of his life.

There were very few genres of music that he didn't listen to and as a result, one never knew what he might play next. He enjoyed the stage. He was in a wedding band in college, Solid Gold, and in the early 80s his band, The Catch, performed throughout the region from Fort Kent to North Conway, New Hampshire. Once he settled in Cutler, he hooked up with some locals, dubbing themselves the 99-cent Band. He also enjoyed bringing his guitar to summer bluegrass festivals and joining in the late night jam sessions. Over the last several years he was the guitar accompanist at church, often learning new hymns for worship. He also sang the Messiah each Christmas with the Machias Community Chorale for many years.

1969 was his first summer in Maine and although still in high school, it was clear to him Maine was where he wanted to be. It took some years, but eventually his father accepted and understood why he wanted to be in Cutler. By the early 80s, he was out of school and firmly planted in Maine, as he pursued multiple paths including municipal leadership, music and sound engineering, and a love of the wonder of water and scuba diving.

In his early Maine years he worked for the Town of Lubec as an administrative assistant from 1979-1981, and the Town of Castine as Town Manager from 1980-1981. He then ran the Cutler Lobster Hatchery from 1986-1991, and launched Bold Coast Charter, the first eco-tourism venture in the region, in 1990. Under the direction of he and wife Renee, the business flourished and in 1997 he purchased his current boat, the Barbara Frost, named after his mother. During winters from 1990 to around 2000 Andy was diving for sea urchins. For the past 20 years he worked for local area schools and other businesses, providing computer tech support.

Andy met his wife Renee in Lubec where she worked at R.J. Peacock Canning Co. in the winter of 1991, soon after he purchased the house on the corner in Cutler, and in 1994 they were married at the Cutler United Methodist Church next door. They were avid travelers and took numerous trips to New York to visit his family, explored the US, Europe and the Caribbean. To list the many cities, states, National Parks, state parks, and numerous countries to which he traveled, both with friends, his wife and then his children would take too many pages.

Over the years he was involved in many civic pursuits including the Cutler Planning Board and the Harbor Committee. He volunteered not just for Cutler's Louise Clements Library, but also for Machias' Porter Memorial Library. After adopting their dog, Joe, in 1998 he and his wife served on the Ark Animal Shelter Board of directors until 2007. He was involved with the Cutler 4th of July celebration in many capacities over the years, but the one mainstay was being the Race Director for the Cutler Harbor 5k, from 1985 to 2020. He served on the board of directors of the Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce from 1997 to 2003. For the past several years he worked on the Machias Airport Committee.

He was a member of the Cutler United Methodist church and besides the numerous committees and church suppers, he really enjoyed working with kids in youth groups. His ministry gift truly was his music and his faith was evident in everything he did.

Before his first child Anna was born in 2005, he started taking flying lessons. Andy had a lifelong love of flying. Just a few years ago, he recounted his first ride in an airplane, thanks to his father, where they flew from Atlanta to Huntsville, Alabama, on Southern Airways. While there, the two of them visited the Johnson Space Flight Center, after which he always followed NASA and the space program. He finally got to see a space shuttle launch in 2011, while visiting Florida with his family. By 2012 he had purchased his airplane and in 2017, he and his wife were able to purchase the airport in Cutler. When he told people he owned his own airstrip, he was so proud of what they had accomplished.

After his son Linus was born in 2008, he purchased a camper (and several Martin guitars that he'd always dreamed of owning) and the family enjoyed a short camping season, since the boat tours kept him busy most of the summer. Bluegrass festivals, state parks, the North Maine Woods and the Fryeburg Fair all became annual traditions. Tent camping still happened, usually involving the airplane, the Greenville Fly-In and of course, Sunín Fun in Florida, where he was flying when he crashed. He had been flying to Sunín Fun annually since 2017.

Andy was always physically active from ice hockey in high school, to frisbee and biking during college, then running with his friends in Cutler. There were numerous 5k and 10ks, but he also ran the New York City Marathon in 1987, 1988, 1989 and in 1995. He participated in the Trek Across Maine several times. He enjoyed golf and made several trips to the Myrtle Beach links with friends.

He will be missed by his dog Roxie, but now he has been reunited with his pals Lucky and Joe.

He had a contagious sense of humor, a movie quote for every situation, and there was never a song played on the radio that he didnít know. There wasnít anyone that he didnít seem to be able to find a connection with, whether it was the guys out golfing or playing cards, church, school classrooms, youth group, cheering at a soccer game, town meetings or those who went out on the puffin tours. Everywhere he traveled, country or city, he was always fascinated and interested in what they did and how they lived. He was just as comfortable camping in the North Maine Woods as he was eating dinner in New York City or brunch in South Beach Miami.

Of all of his accomplishments, and life'd adventures, nothing held such a special place in Andy's heart as his treasured memories with his children and wife. Andy was a quintessential bragger about his family's accomplishments including Anna's art and love of horses, Linus's fascination with history and growing love of soccer, and Reneeís constant love and willingness to put up with all his foolishness for an amazing 28 years.

A Celebration of Life was held on Saturday, April 29, at Bay Ridge Elementary School in Cutler.

Donations to a scholarship fund to support further education in general aviation in memory of Andy may be sent to Patterson Scholarship Fund, Machias Savings Bank, Attn: Sam Whitney, PO Box 318, Machias Maine 04654.

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