Patrick Thomas Fennell, 59, of Troutville, passed away on Sunday, June 13, 2021.
Patrick was a man who possessed a wide array of interests, talents, and passions. He had a lifelong pursuit of learning, and the priority he placed on education was evident from an early age. Patrick was a graduate of St. John’s High School in Washington, D.C., Tulane University in New Orleans, La., and The United States Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.
After concluding his undergraduate studies Patrick was commissioned into the United States Navy in May 1983. He served two tours in the Western Pacific, first aboard the USS Denver (LPD-9) as a Navigation Officer and then on the USS Harold E. Holt (FF-1074) as a Weapons Officer. He then served two more tours overseas, this time as part of Operation Desert Storm. Patrick worked as an Operations Officer and a Tactical Action Officer on board the USS Taylor (FFG-50) when it was one of only two U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf. The Taylor had arrived in the region just as Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990. Patrick’s team on board withstood the threats of chemical weapons, mines, and SCUD ballistic missiles. Later in Desert Storm, Patrick served on Commander Destroyer Squadron 36 (COMDESRON-36) as an Operations Officer in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf.
Once Patrick departed the Navy he turned his attention toward a law degree, enrolling at Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. He earned his J.D. in 1996 and spent the next 25 years practicing law in the Roanoke Valley. During this time, he worked at Carter, Brown & Osborne, Magee, Foster, Goldstein, & Sayers, and Crandall & Katt. For the final three years of his life, he was self-employed, practicing as Patrick Fennell, Attorney at Law, P.C.
In addition to his love for debating and practicing law, Patrick enjoyed outdoor recreation with his family and dogs. Whether it was sailing, canoeing, kayaking, or hiking, he was always glad to be under the sun with the people he loved. Patrick also liked riding his tractor, reading history books, and chopping wood on his land.
Despite all of his accomplishments around the world and in the face of war, Patrick’s greatest victory during his time in the Navy was meeting the love of his life, Nancy Cooper Fennell. They spent 33 years of marriage not just as spouses, but as best friends and anchors for each other. In addition to Nancy, Patrick is survived by his sons, Patrick and James, who are both continuing their father’s legacy and entering the Naval Service as Officers.
A Funeral Mass was conducted at 12 noon on Friday, June 18, at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church with Very Rev. Kevin Segerblom officiating. Interment in Arlington National Cemetery will take place at a later date.
Arrangements were entrusted to Oakey’s Funeral Service – Roanoke Chapel, Roanoke, (540) 982-2100. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.oakeys.com.