Patrick K. Miehe, at 70
Patrick Karl Miehe died June 5, after a year-long struggle with cancer. He was 70.
Mr. Miehe was born and raised in St. Louis, Mo., where he tortured his brother Pierre and sister Claudette with endless practical jokes. After attending Washington University, from which he graduated magna cum laude, he headed to Boston and quickly landed a job at Harvard’s Houghton Library. There he catalogued the papers of poet Robert Lowell, writer Tom Wolfe, and Russian theorist and politician Leon Trotsky, among others.
Touching the letters of these amazing men fed his mind and soul, and he took pleasure in learning all he could about them. But Mr. Miehe’s mind and soul were restless, always needing to be challenged. While helping a friend study for the LSATs, on a whim he decided to take them, too, to see how well he would do. His high score resulted in an acceptance to Harvard Law School, and so his path changed.
Mr. Miehe joined a Boston law firm, Sullivan & Worcester, and even though he had no love of contracts and corporate law, he became a highly successful corporate lawyer and partner, specializing in media mergers. He had the soul of a poet, the curiosity of a scholar, and the heart of an adventurer.
He longed to see the world and traveled every chance he got. He walked through the marketplaces of Morocco and climbed to the base camp of Mount Everest. He ate croissants in the cafés of Paris and hiked through the English countryside. He found fossils in Spitzbergen and explored the ruins of Machu Picchu.
In May 1995, Mr. Miehe met his true north, his beloved Maureen, and he shared with her the wonders of Zimbabwe and Zambia and the ruins of Tikal. They camped under the stars in Wadi Rum, the Syrian dessert, and walked through Petra, the rose-colored city carved into the mountains of Jordan. They hiked through the Basque region of Spain and cruised on the Aegean Sea. They took in theater in London’s West End and stood in awe of the Sistine Chapel.
They married in Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands soon after settling in the seaside town of Hull, where Mr. Miehe found his true home. For all of his world travels, his home in Hull with Maureen was the place he loved the best, especially when taking in the view of Boston and the Atlantic Ocean from the top of their WWII submarine tower. It calmed his wanderlust and gave him peace.
He was intellectually hungry and loved reading, devouring everything from Shakespeare to Agatha Christie, books about quantum physics, and paperback crime capers. His love of reading was contagious, and frequently the first question he would ask of you was, “What are you reading?” He could often be seen walking on Allerton Hill, navigating the street on autopilot as he read a book, or viewed through the den window, reading in his favorite chair, enveloped in a cherry-tobacco-scented cloud from his ever-present pipe.
He loved foreign films, “The Great British Baking Show,” X-Box games, William Butler Yeats, and magic tricks. He enjoyed red wine and Maureen’s cooking, always prepared with love. A cat lover who volunteered at Hull Seaside Animal Rescue, he was fond of all creatures, including the seagulls that frequently hovered above the house and the squirrels that perched eagerly at the door, waiting for the inevitable table scraps and peanuts that he would toss out to them. More than anything, he loved Maureen, his family, and his friends.
Mr. Miehe was a true lion, courageous throughout his illness. He was never afraid. He was never bitter or angry. He simply said: “It is another adventure. Everyone is going to go on this journey eventually. I am just going earlier than planned.” Everyone who ever met him said the same thing: They had never met anyone quite like him. He was quick-witted, yet silly; he was kind, and he was incredibly inquisitive and interested in people. He had no patience for small talk, but rather he wanted to know how people thought and what they really thought about. He made everyone feel important and loved.
Mr. Miehe leaves his wife, Maureen Keiller; his mother, Claudia Napolilli, of Boston; his brother, Pierre Decker, of Norwood; his sister, Claudette Scott and her husband, Ed, of Hobe Sound, Fla.; sisters-in-law Linda Robrish and her husband, Mike, of Westwood, and Susan Droney of Enfield, Conn.; and many extended family members. He also leaves his first wife and friend, Hinda Sklar; his lifelong best friend Ron Rouse; and countless friends and neighbors who loved him. Finally he leaves the cats that he adored: Kirby, Sam, Roger, and Cemi.
His family wishes to especially thank Kristin Gangi, his hospice nurse from Beacon Hospice on the South Shore, for her care, her kindness, her warm smile, her sense of humor and for always thinking of Patrick’s comfort and dignity. It lessened the pain in more ways than one.
Services will be private. Memorial donations may be made to Hull Seaside Animal Rescue, 487 Nantasket Ave., Hull, MA 02045.
Patrick K. Miehe, at 70