Brian Richard Pataky, 56, mentor who built effective work environments and strong clinicians for the community

Brian Richard Pataky

WILMINGTON — Brian Richard Pataky, 56, passed away Wednesday, April 28, 2021.

The name Brian means “strong, virtuous and honorable.” Those who knew Brian realize he personified each of those qualities every day of his life. Brian’s strength allowed him to survive the death of his first love and first wife, Tracy. Tracy passed away just a few short years after their beautiful daughter Daniell was born. From that point, Brian was a single parent who thrived in parenthood and continued to strive to serve others.

Brian was an assistant chief firefighter and true inspiration to every crew he worked with in New Jersey. Brian received many awards for his dedication and valor during his service with the firefighters. He protected communities from the flames of fire and provided joy to children by being the fire station’s best Santa Claus ever. Brian completed culinary school and truly enjoyed cooking and baking. His ability to pull together a feast with only odds and ends was simply magnificent to witness. Those of us fortunate enough to enjoy the fruits of his labor in the kitchen, have been spoiled and realize there are no restaurants in this world to compare to a dish served by Brian Pataky.

Brian was a talented registered nurse, providing care for the sick and working shoulder to shoulder with surgeons in the O.R. Brian was the nurse who surgeons prayed to have assisting them. Brian’s leadership and mentoring abilities in healthcare built a cohesive work environment and strong clinicians for the community.

In 2013 Brian met Rachel. A grand love affair ensued. Brian and Rachel were married Dec. 13, 2014. Their union was complete with the blessing of Daniell, and both of the couple’s families. Brian and Rachel had a fairytale wedding and proceeded to live happily ever after, never uttering a cross word between them. Brian was honorable and chivalrous each day. Rachel was doted on every day and never touched a door handle in Brian’s presence.

Besides Brian’s love for God, Daniell, Rachel and family members, he had a serious devotion to all things Star Wars and Disney. At the holidays, when in doubt, the perfect gift for Brian was something Darth Vader related. He even named his truck Vader. Our perfect getaways were Walt Disney World vacations and Disney cruises. It was always so invigorating seeing Brian in Disney. It was as if he was transported back in time and became 10 years old seeing the sights and characters for the first time, no matter how many times we vacationed at Disney. For Brian, all of the stressors of the world and the weight of all his responsibilities vanished while in Disney.

In October 2019, Brian was diagnosed with Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer. He fought from day one and had far more good days than bad. He continued to care for his wife and daughter while battling cancer, never complaining or missing a beat. His battle went unseen by many. Unless you were aware of his diagnosis, you wouldn’t have known due to his strength and ability to keep moving forward. Brian was loved by every nurse and physician he encountered during our treatment journey. His quiet demeanor was a perfect set up for the well-timed, funny one-liners.

Brian changed so many people’s lives for the better and stirred the desire for all who knew him to be a better version of themselves. Each day he modeled his strong faith in God, love of family, selflessness, compassion, kindness, looking for the best in everyone, appreciating all he had (and willingness to share), calm demeanor and his ability to find humor in all situations.

The world lost an angel who lived among us for 56 years on April 28, 2021. Perhaps, God decided he needed one of Brian’s famous Thanksgiving spreads for himself.

Brian was loved by many and will be sorely missed.

Brian was preceded in death by his mother, Janet Marie Pataky; and his first wife, Tracy Pataky.

He is survived by his beloved daughter, Daniell Pataky; loving wife, Rachel Pataky; four sisters, Janine McLaughlin, Diana Harris, Heather Botto and Nancy Cole; and father, Richard Pataky.

A visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, May 3, at Coble Funeral and Cremation Service at Greenlawn Memorial Park, 1155 Shipyard Blvd., Wilmington. A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, May 4, at St. Mark Catholic Church. Burial will follow in Oleander Memorial Gardens.

Share online condolences with the family at Coble Funeral and Cremation Service at Greenlawn Memorial Park.

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