Mourning Mr. Herbert Pattin


To the editor:

Today we feel the loss of Herbert Pattin, a warm, optimistic, charming, endearing individual, who recently died. He had just celebrated his 94th birthday, and was actively planning his 95th. He was a gentleman and a man for all seasons, a good friend to young and old.

A Riverdale resident for more than a half century, Herb was a World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Air Corps, maintaining military fighter planes. His long life ended surrounded by his loving children, Lisa Pattin Malina and Andrew Pattin. His wife of 50 years, Dr. Helen Horowitz Pattin, preceded him in death in 2011.

Herb’s wife was a renowned endocrinologist at Montefiore Hospital and Beth Israel North, much sought after and loved by her patients. Herb cared for her lovingly during her final illness.

The Riverdale Y was a second home for Herb. He loved swimming in the pool, and was part of the early morning swim group with two of his friends. They gave each other support and humor, discussed politics and reminisced about the war and the old life.

The Y is also where, in recent years, he met his companion Doris at its senior center. Their loving relationship brought Herb great joy, laughter and love.

Herb always offered insights into current events with great wit. I was fortunate to be befriended by the group at The Y, especially by Herb. He became more than a good friend. He was an extended family member to me. He made everyone feel special, and was a good listener and conversationalist.

He knew art and literature. He loved going to the theater with his daughter.

In loving memory of Helen Pattin, Herb and his family have been supporting the international research study “Helping the Helpers: Decreasing Burnout in Pediatric Oncology/Hematology Staff.”

This interdisciplinary study takes place in the United States and Israel, and as part of the study investigates the value of empathy — which Herb’s wife Helen embodied in her care — and Herb valued and appreciated in his wife.

Thanks to their generous support, this project is currently in its third phase, developing an international protocol to decrease burnout in a complex medical setting.

Lisa Pattin Malina and Alan, and Herb’s son Andrew Pattin (and Melissa) have been a great source of pride to Herb, and he shared their accomplishing with his many friends. Their cards and phone calls and visits brought him great joy, and something to look forward to.

Herb was a member of Congregation Shaarei Shalom in Riverdale. He always enjoyed attending services and being called to the Torah. We were fortunate to have him join us at time for Sabbath and holiday meals.

His memory will be a blessing to all who knew him. May all those who were privileged to know Herbert Pattin be comforted among those who mourn for Zion and Jerusalem.

Deborah Kramer

Deborah Kramer,