By Danielle Domarasky
This last Friday night on January 27, Devon Prep celebrated the life of its beloved Director of Facilities, Mr. Pat Nattle who recently passed away after a long battle with cancer. Devon held a ceremony in his honor during its basketball game vs Dock Mennonite Academy.
Pat started working at Devon Prep in 2004. Shortly there after, he became a favorite among the students, faculty and staff, families, and anyone who was lucky enough to meet him. He was an advocate of the mission of Devon, which focuses on the holistic education of the young men here. It was in that spirit that Pat was a best friend to the boys, a trusting companion who would do anything for them, and a man who somehow had all of the answers. However, the importance of honoring Pat’s life can be summed up with two words…THE PIT, also known as the students’ section. Pat was the pit leader. That’s where he watched the games, cheered for every single player, but also where he kept the kids in line when they took things a little too far. Pat was the one person who could shoot a look across the room, and any inappropriate behavior would stop. He was passionate about every sport he was involved in, and the kids respected him for that as well.
As part of the celebration of his life on Friday evening, Devon Prep retired the number 11 from all sports because that was Pat’s number. Devon Prep hung an honorary banner in the gym to forever have Pat be part of the pit, watching over as number 11. Pat’s family came for the ceremony with a lot of laughs, tears, but most importantly honor because of the mark that their own “Patty” left on Devon Prep. The game played that night was not about winning, it was about playing in Pat’s memory, and to honor a man who was always proud of the boys – regardless of them winning or losing.
The pit went crazy most of the evening and had a blast cheering on the players. Even though the game ended in a loss, the entire Devon community earned an Angel on Friday night.