Friday, July 20, 2007

Pat Wade remembered

Friends and high school classmates of Manawa native Pat Wade, who was killed Tuesday in Iraq, remember Wade as a fun-loving guy who had looked forward to joining the military.

The mother of the 38-year-old Navy explosives technician said a roadside bomb killed her son.

"They were just on a convoy. They were going to take care of some explosives and their vehicle was hit by a very deep charge," Shirley Wade said.

"He was a very outgoing young man. He enjoyed the service and his family. I just really can't talk about that."

Wade was deployed to Iraq about two months ago, the 70-year-old woman said.

The Department of Defense confirmed Wade's death Wednesday evening.

Wade graduated in 1987 from Little Wolf High School. He then joined the Navy.

"We both went into the service together," said Eric Krainik, Wade's best friend in high school. "He shipped out to San Diego and I shipped out to Great Lakes. He had a great sense of humor. I remember he was a pretty small guy so he got into body building in his last year of high school and we both played the trombone together in the high school band."

Wade has a wife, Kari, a California native, and two children, ages 10 months and 3, according to his sister-in-law, Ann Wade of Royalton, married to Pat's brother, Gary.

Pat Wade and his wife had just bought a house in Oak Harbor, Wash., she said, just before he was shipped out to Iraq in April.

"His wife was not home when she got the word and she had to fly home and I guess they are sending his remains to Germany and then to Dover, Delaware," Ann Wade said.

Kevin Bartel said Wade was a bit of a class clown.

"And he was big on the military back then already," Bartel said.

"We played in the band together and I remember we used to go over to his house by Bear Lake after games and do all those kind of things that high school kids like to do."

Bartel was a drummer.

"He was just hoping to get out of high school and join the military," said Bartel. "The last time I saw him was at the five-year reunion and he flew up on leave from Florida and he was in a whole lot better shape than I was."

Krainik, Wade and Molly Conroy hung out together.

Conroy, now Molly Joosten said trips to the principal's office for their little gang were not unknown.

"He was quite the prankster," said Joosten. "And he enjoyed his own jokes. Homecoming was always a riot with him."

Much of their time was spent swimming and boating on Bear Lake.

"I remember we had two rowboats with old engines on them and Pat came up with the idea of putting both motors on one boat to see what would happen," she said.

"So on the count of three we started up both engines and the boat went straight up into the air and down to the bottom of the lake. At least no one got hurt."

"He was just a good guy," said Tamara Arndt, who also graduated in 1987. "We were in the band together and we rode the bus together. He was just a good person."

Wade comes from a family that has seen several generations serve in the military, said Ann Wade.

"His mother was in the military and he had two brothers who were in the service, Gary, and a half-brother who was killed in Japan," she said.

His half-brother was killed in a helicopter accident in the early 1980s.

Ann Wade said funeral services still are being planned. She said that Wade had a standing request that he be cremated.

From the Oshkosh Northwestern

Related Link:
Patrick L. Wade dies 'as a result of enemy action while conducting combat operations'