Welcome to the memorial page for

Howard R. Pate

May 8, 1923 ~ April 22, 2017 (age 93)

April 22, 2017

Howard Raymond Pate, dear husband of Patricia R. Pate, father of Andrew Pate (Anastasia Nute), David Pate (Beth Pate), Judith Pate and Valerie Ardron, grandfather of Alex Unrau (predeceased), Ryan and Christopher Ardron. He died peacefully at home.

Born May 8, 1923 in Leyton, London, England, as a boy Howard grew up to excel at woodwork and had an early interest in trains and electronics. He pursued model railroading for a good part of his life as did his brother Brian. In 1941, he joined the Royal Air Force (RAF).  Stationed in Cornwall he worked on radar systems in Spitfires and Hurricanes.  After the war, he joined the Post Office to work in what would become British Telephone.  A favorite family story, he built a Television from a surplus Radar tube and used it to woo his wife to be.  He married Patricia on February 24, 1951, settling in Romford, Essex.  Encouraged by his brother Brian, Howard and his growing family emigrated to the US to work at Brookhaven National Lab (BNL).  Howard worked at BNL for 28 years, helping build one of the first computers called “Merlin” and going on to write programs for experiments in applied physics, instrumentation and medicine.  His long life spanned the age of technology from early wireless radio to modern computers and cell phones. He hoped his field and work would help make life better for humanity. He marveled at the developments but was skeptical as to whether it was all progress.

He did woodwork all his life, building many beautiful pieces of furniture.  He was inventive and resourceful, a great craftsman he could fix almost anything.  He loved gardening, listening to music, and sitting quietly observing wildlife. In retirement, he and Patricia moved to Greenwich, in upstate NY where they built a new home.  Howard continued to garden and do woodwork.  In his spare time, he returned to the computer and researched the family tree.

He was a sweet, gentle man, who loved his family.  He was a steady, thoughtful, intelligent and very modest person.  He provided a wonderful life and foundation for his wife and four children.  His wisdom, kindness and love will stay with us forever. 

In lieu of flowers gifts honoring Howard's life can be made to Hubbard Hall 25 East Main St., Cambridge, NY 12816 (hubbardhall.org) or the Environmental Defense Fund 257 Park Ave. South, New York, NY 10010 (edf.org)



By Christina Rossetti

Remember me when I am gone away,

   Gone far away into the silent land;

   When you can no more hold me by the hand,

Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by day

   You tell me of our future that you planned:

   Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while

   And afterwards remember, do not grieve:

   For if the darkness and corruption leave

   A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

   Than that you should remember and be sad.


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