PATRICK J. CHOWNING, 86

Patrick Joseph Chowning (86) of Crossville, TN passed away Jun 17, 2024.

Pat is survived by his amazing wife Anne. Together, they spent 63 years devoting themselves to a singular task: raising and loving their family.
Pat is survived by three children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. His children are Laura Semones (husband Dan), Mark (wife Jennifer), and Amy Hart (husband Steve). His grandchildren are Jessica (husband David), Mark II, Megan (husband Ryan), Emily, Molly, Amanda, and Eli. His great-grandchild is Marian (Megan & Ryan). Some special four legged furry babies found their way into the fold, and undoubtedly the closest to Pat’s heart was Sadie.
Pat was born in Detroit, MI, the son of John and Mary Chowning. Pat has seven brothers and sisters, and he is survived by his younger brother Fr. Michael OFM. Pat joins six of his siblings and Anne’s younger brother John (wife Jill) at our Lord’s table: Jack (wife Millie), Joan (husband Don), Jim (wife Nancy), Paul (wife Lois), Mary Anne (husband Bob), and Jerry.
Uncle Pat has better than 25 nieces and nephews and another 25 great nieces and nephews. All of you are loved and hold a special place in Uncle Pat’s heart.
For 63 years, Pat loved one incredible woman, Anne, whom we are exceedingly blessed to call “Mom”.
Along the way, Pat and Anne made others feel like family. They were always welcoming and willing to help and share what they had. They made it seem effortless. They were giving of their resources, time, a non-judgmental ear, and sound advice that always seemed to fit the situation. Pat was loving, and providing for his family was what drove him with a focus and commitment that most people couldn’t begin to understand.

Pat’s accomplishments outside the family were, well, some might say legendary. In his early years, at Central Catholic High School, he was a star athlete in football, baseball, basketball, track, and of course boxing. Choosing to join the military, Pat turned down an offer to play football for University of Florida, in order to help provide for his brothers and sisters. Pat finished boot camp with a broken foot and earned the title United States Marine. He was proud of that. Pat and Anne dated while he finished his time in the Marine Corps and were married.
Pat spent 35+ years working for Unisys/Burroughs and Systems Development Corporation (SDC) from 1963 into the 1990s; working on everything from banking and financial solutions to space and defence systems. Pat’s work with NASA and the Space Shuttle programs (1980’s) were the foundation for advances in systems engineering. NASA’s leadership and colleagues called Pat the “Father of Systems Engineering”.
Pat took over as president/CEO of Aperta Ltd, an engineering company based in Livingston, Scotland.
Pat’s talents and problem-solving skills took him around the world, spending time in Asia, Australia, throughout Europe, and the Southern and Northern Americas. Pat’s favorite spots were Scotland and Ireland. Pat and Anne lived in Scotland while on assignment for Unisys.
Pat and Anne created lifelong friendships with people that started as colleagues and turned into family: Tom, Gene, Larry, Gary, Jerry, Ira, Dale, Austin, Sachi  Dave, Neal, Martin and many others.
Pat’s interests focused around the family. A passionate angler, fly fishing was special, providing him with quiet moments on the water, working a well-cast line, a perfectly tied fly, watching the river and his endless patience.
Pat made time for golf, walking with his dogs, boat rides with the family and friends, amateur radio, science and technology, photography, movies, and music. If the setting and location were just right (Cheers Pub in Mid Calder, Scotland), he enjoyed a properly poured pint. He was drawn to the cliffs of Ireland, music in a small town pub, and a cup of tea.
In retirement, Pat and Anne found a beautiful lakefront spot in Tennessee. They gathered family and made new friends for 18 years of special holidays, packed Thanksgiving tables, beautiful white Christmases with snow on the lake, fishing on the dock and kids jumping off their boat, “Sadie’s Ride”. There were piles of sleeping bags and air mattresses for kids, great food, never too many snacks, and always room for one more. There was always laughter, some tears, lots of hugs, and everyone got as many moments with Grandpa (“Mampa”) as they needed.
Pat and Anne took the family on multiple Disney World adventures. That tradition continues on today, as well as a Caribbean cruise with children and grandchildren that made our summer.
All these were tools to spend time with family and create memories.
Dad gave his heart to his family; maybe that’s why it eventually wore down. I know Dad: he wouldn’t have had it any other way.
We love you. We’ll see you soon.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to “The Anglers of the Au Sable” in the name of “Patrick Chowning”.
For the preservation of the Au Sable River and its natural and recreational environments, including the neighboring Manistee River.
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