Bud Patten loved life, especially the good life. He played golf, studied the American China Trade, preferred Bordeaux wines, hunted down fine antiques and cherished his lovely home, his wife and Beacon Hill, where he lived for 58 years.
“We always called him the mayor of West Cedar Street,” said his friend Bob Linderman. He was enthusiastic about his neighbors and his interests. “Bud considered himself an oenophile, and he would drive to New York for the sales, returning to Boston with a trunk full of wonderful wines. We’d watch him unloading cases of wine.”
Bud was active in The Country Club, helping to organize the Ryder Cup, said Linderman. He helped his wife, Charlotte, with the long-running Ellis Antiques Show and its opening night party.
He was also involved for many years in the Nichols House Museum and in opening up the connecting gardens behind Louisburg Square for the Beacon Hill Garden Club’s Tour of the Hidden Gardens, said his friend and neighbor Sudie Schenck.
She admired his wonderful eye for good design of antique furniture, his knowledge of the business and his enthusiasm for all things historical. “He was great fun and a dear, dear friend,” said Schenck.
Bud died peacefully at Massachusetts General Hospital on May 29. He was 88 years old. He had been hit by a car at the intersection of Beacon and Charles seven years ago. While he recovered from that accident, life was more of a challenge after it happened.
Walter W. Patten Jr. was born in New Jersey and educated at the Pingry School in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He earned his college degree at the Sibley College of Mechanical Engineering at Cornell University.
“He never used his mechanical engineering,” said Charlotte. “He wouldn’t take a door off a hinge.”
Instead he joined the Air Force and as a lieutenant flew 55 combat missions with the Royal Bengal Tiger Squadron during the Korean War. “That was a turning point in his life,” said Charlotte.
After he was discharged he joined the McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, working first in New York City, and moving to the firm’s Boston office the same year he married his wife, whom he met at an engagement party.
Bud was a “clubman,” said Charlotte. Ardent and active in the Union Boat Club, the Peabody Essex Museum and on several historical society boards, he enjoyed the camaraderie they provided.
He was particularly devoted to Beacon Hill, its ambiance and its residents.
In addition to his wife, Bud leaves his brother John of Stowe, Vt.