Bruce Patten

June 26, 1944 ~ October 12, 2021 (age 77)


Bruce Kenneth Patten of Smithfield, died on October 12, 2021 from injuries sustained in a fall. He was born in Milton, MA on June 26, 1944, the only child of George Kenneth and Marjorie Crosby Patten. Bruce’s father died while on a November 1944 bombing mission. Marjory later married Russell O. Bedford, the man Bruce considered his father. Bruce was raised in Hingham, MA. He earned a B. S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of MA-Amherst. Later he attended Utah State to earn an Airframe and Powerplant certification as an airplane mechanic, having owned and flown a 1946 Taylorcraft airplane from his time in college. He moved to Maine in 1972 finding the perfect neighborhood to build the geodesic dome he had designed to be his home. In 1976 he married Cheryl Willis of Starks. He worked as a mechanical engineer at various paper mills. Thereafter he became certified as a Professional Engineer and was selfemployed. Bruce truly lived life to the fullest and aimed to be the “oldest living teenager”. He was an avid outdoorsman in many ways-shooting at black powder contests, hiking, snowshoeing, and walking to visit many in the neighborhood. He and his wife took many camping trips, exploring different parts of the U. S and Canada. Bruce loved “plane camping”, that is, flying to distant places, especially in the western U. S., and setting up his tent under the wing of his plane so he could explore the area. He had a vast knowledge and collection of guns, particularly those from times gone by. He enjoyed sharing his interests with his friends and family. Bruce loved to join friends whenever food was involved and could eat his weight in desserts. He enjoyed playing games and dancing a good jig as well as playing the guitar at Thanksgiving dinners. Because he had a large collection of guitars, including one he built, it was a difficult choice to know which one to play. In 2003 Bruce and his wife, Cheryl, traveled to the American Military Cemetery in Epinal, France to visit the graves of his father and his uncle, Irving Bruce Patten. Bruce was the first from the immediate family to visit the two brothers for whom he was named. As a pilot, he enjoyed flying all over the U. S. and Canada. Bruce would often participate in fly-ins, or at times just fly off for coffee and donuts, or for a lunch in a new spot. He loved viewing the world from above and had a large collection of aerial photos. He often invited others to join him in his flights. He didn’t always have a passenger because some were concerned having heard he has previously crashed a few times. Though still flying his 1946 Taylorcraft, he wanted various experiences and built a variety of planes for others and for himself. As of 2021, he had three planes in the air and was building two others. Most recently he was involved with the Central Maine EAA Chapter #736, The Ancient Ones of Maine, where he was known as “Spruce”, The Colonial Living History Association, and he also performed music at a local coffee house. Some of the songs he played were his original music and lyrics. For more on his flying adventures-with photos; building the dome stories and photos; and information about his music, check his web page He was predeceased by his mother, step-father, and a brother. He leaves behind his wife, Cheryl; a halfsister, Pamela; cousins, nieces, nephews, and close friends, Paul and Tasha Dudley. He also considered those who lived in his neighborhood his family. His funeral will be held Sunday, October 17 at Central Maine Airport (KOWK) in Norridgewock. Visiting hours will be 11:00-1:00 and the service will be at 1:00. These activities will be in an unheated space so please dress for the weather. If possible bring a chair. Following the service the interment will be at Frederic Cemetery in Starks. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations in Bruce’s memory to “EAA Chapter # 736 Fund,” attention Caleb Curtis, 176 Harrison Street, Pittsfield, Maine 04967 or 7 Lakes Alliance Trail System, P. O. Box 250, Belgrade Lakes, ME 04918 or Colonial Maine Living History Association, P. O. Box 179, Clinton, ME 04927.

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Funeral Service
October 17, 2021

1:00 AM
Central Maine Airport, Norridgewock

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