Patrick Tracy Colt died Tuesday, July 14, 2020.
He was a devoted and loyal family man who continued to grow while he aged and maintained friendships throughout his life. During the last 15 years, Pat’s wisdom and kindness grew. These were the happiest years of his life. His relationship with Pam Marshall made him happy. He said it was the first time he had consciously decided to build a relationship. They traveled, socialized with friends, played Croquet, and smiled together.
During the last few days, when asked what he thought it was all about, he said: “I chased my achievements for most of my life but looking back what makes me happiest are things I did for others.”
At the very end, he said: “no one wants to live more than I do, but it ain’t in the cards.” He decided that rather than extend his life by a few days, he would enter a process whose outcome was death. He took no counsel from family, friends, or medical professionals. The decision was his. He was remarkably self-possessed, and when he got into bed for the last time before the doctor affixed a patch which would lead to his sleeping and never regaining consciousness, he had a smile on his face.
Maintaining connections throughout his life, friends from high school, college, and the communities where he lived and worked kept in touch. He consistently reached out to friends after successes and failures his or theirs. People touched his heart and he touched theirs.
As a kid in Newtown, Connecticut, he and other kids would don goggles and play war games using bb guns. He “liked getting them on the nose up around the goggles where it smarts.” Inheriting a VW Bug, in the late 60’s he would go for a drive, taking the McCullough kids and his own. From the passenger seat, he would instruct as kids as young as five drove the dirt roads of Chelsea, Vermont. In St. Johnsbury, he organized massive games of one hand touch, Razzle Dazzle football. The First Bridge at Cape Cod could not be passed without Pat getting on the top railing and doing his famous backflip, nailing his last one at age 84. Telling stories at a party made him light up.
He loved competition and measuring himself with the certainty that keeping score provides. He competed in the National Championships of three different sports/activities: Ski Jumping while an undergrad at Harvard; Cross Country Skiing to which he reconnected in middle age after betting his high school roommate on their personal finishes in Putney’s 20K Washington’s Birthday Race; and Croquet which he picked up at 70.
As a parent, he thought about what he wanted for his children wishing for them to be comfortable with their bodies and have fun. In Cambridge, the kids’ room had climbing ropes hanging from the ceiling. The bunkbed had a slide from the top bunk. Every Saturday and Sunday morning in Chelsea, he would get up early and make pancakes and popovers. He was concerned about the lives of his children and minutely inquired about them.
His career had both peaks and valleys. He was Controller at Nypro, President of EHV Weidmann, an associate at Ross Honig & Associates, President of KLD Research & Analytics, and an associate of Bayley Associates. He made lasting contributions at each company.
Pat graduated from The Putney School in 1951, Harvard in 1955, and from Harvard Business School in 1960. He was an active member of the Croquet Club of Vermont in Woodstock and the National Croquet Center of West Palm Beach, Florida.
He honed his wood working skills and made furniture for many members of his family.
He is survived by a loving partner, Pam Marshall; five siblings, Margaret Domini, Sylvia De Almeida, Joseph Colt, Timothy Colt, and Suzy Doolittle; three loving children: son Torsten of Hartland, Vt. and wife Deborah, son Dana Colt of Winchester, Mass. and wife Catherine, Daughter Lisa Jarvis of Virginia Beach, Va. and husband John, seven grandchildren Katherine, Samantha, Dylan Colt and Vincent, John, Nathaniel and Vanessa Jarvis; numerous nieces and nephews; and many dear friends.