Kaye Rose has lived in Sequim for the past 15 years, in the area for “about 30 years.” She loves it, saying the peninsula is “such an easy place to live.”
She recently described the death of her husband, Patrick, a 27-year veteran Port Angeles firefighter and EMT. He also was a pilot, specializing in experimental craft.
“Let’s see. July 6, 2006. That morning my husband said, ‘Oh, honey, I’ll be home in time for dinner. I’ll take you out to dinner because tomorrow’s our anniversary and I have to work.’
So he went to fly this airplane for someone else.
He was an FAA inspector and he had built airplanes his entire life. He built them from aluminum — from scratch — and from plywood. Small airplanes. Mostly experimental.
A part on (the plane) failed and he crashed into a brand new hangar at the airport. He went in the roof and imbedded himself in this wall.
That was a bad day.
He had said, ‘I’ll come home,’ and he did, in a beautiful little box. It had a picture of an airplane and everything (laughs).
But he did get a Harley ride, too. They cremated him up at Drennan’s in P.A. And one of his co-workers was a Harley rider. And he called me from Drennan’s and asked, ‘Is it OK if I just strap the box onto the back of the Harley? It won’t fit into the saddle bags.’
‘Yeah, give him a good ride!’ I said. ‘It’s his last Harley ride.’
So that’s how he came home.
It was Fireman’s Appreciation Day. So he got all of the big accolades. He was on the TV and everything.
The Mariners flashed it all over the big billboard things they’ve got. ‘It’s Firefighters Appreciation Day. We’re sorry Pat Rose passed away today.’
He was with the City of Port Angeles. This was in July and he was going to retire in October. So he had been with them 25 … almost 30 years.
A critical part failed during the landing. It flew fine, it just didn’t land very well.
There’s a saying among pilots, ‘The most exciting thing for a pilot isn’t flying, it’s landing.’ And that’s really true.
I was talking to his friends who were out there — there was a big crowd because it was the maiden flight for this airplane. Second maiden flight.
I was talking to this old guy and I said, ‘He must have been really scared.’
And he said, ‘No, he wasn’t. He was trying to correct the problems. He wasn’t afraid.’
I take some comfort in that.
He died doing what he loved best.”