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Patrick O’Leary

Patrick O’Leary, born in March of 1938, in Liverpool, England, passed away on October 25, 2023, at his home in Yorktown, VA. His life was a remarkable journey defined by an unwavering commitment to his family and country.
At the age of 15, Patrick began his maritime career on several boats and ships departing the port of Liverpool, starting with day trips to the North Wales coast. Later he crossed the Atlantic to Canada on the Empress of France. He entered the United States by way of Detroit in 1955 and worked at a steel mill in Chicago.
In May 1956, Patrick enlisted in the US Navy at the age of 18, while visiting his aunt and uncle in Alexandria, VA. His early Navy career took him to Bainbridge, MD; Norman, OK; Jacksonville, FL; and then San Diego, CA. His squadron deployed on the USS Intrepid before he left the Navy in May of 1960.
He returned to Liverpool and married his childhood sweetheart Patricia Shields in August of 1960. They moved to the United States where he reenlisted in the US Navy. His Navy career then took him to Naples, Italy, Brunswick, ME and ultimately Virginia Beach, VA, where he would live in retirement.
While at NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach, he served with VA-42, VA-75, VF-101 and VF-74 as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate. He deployed aboard the USS Saratoga, where he was promoted to Chief Petty Officer and deployed to the Tonkin Gulf during the Vietnam War. His final ship deployment was on the USS Nimitz in 1976.
With over 22 years of active duty, Patrick retired from the US Navy in December of 1977. He embarked on a civil service career in 1978 in support of the Department of the Navy, retiring with over 26 years of continuous service in 2004.
Patrick coached youth soccer for many years, leading his team to a Virginia Beach City championship in 1975. He also competed as a player in the Virginia Beach Soccer League until the age of 75. Post retirement he kept in touch with his Navy buddies at the local chapter of the VFW.
Patrick was preceded in death by Patricia in August of 2021. They are survived by their four children, Sean (Sarah) O’Leary of Southern Pines, NC; Karen (Stephen) Jennings of Yorktown, VA; Kevin (Kimberly) O’Leary of Waxhaw; NC, and Erin (William) Swartz of Fredericksburg, VA. They are also survived by seven grandchildren, Coleen (Christopher) Cronbaugh, Matthew (Hannah) Swartz, Connor O’Leary, David Swartz, Kaleigh O’Leary, Kaitlyn Shocknesse and Jacob Shocknesse. Patrick is also survived by his brothers Denis O’Leary and John O’Leary of the United Kingdom, along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.
A service with military honors is being planned for late April 2024 at Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk, VA.

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