Martin “Marty” Patchen, 1932-2022
Martin "Marty" Patchen
Our beloved father and grandfather, Martin "Marty" Patchen died peacefully April 28th, 2022 in North Hampton, MA at age 89 after a brief illness.
Martin was born on July 3, 1932 in the Bronx to William and Ada Patchen, where he grew up before serving in the Army in San Francisco. He was the first in his family to go to college. Martin loved life and was a lifelong student had a love of learning. He was the editor of his high school newspaper. He completed a bachelor degree in Sociology from Columbia University, a Master's from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and his PhD from the University of Michigan. He met his first wife Susan Alter Buerger in Ann Arbor, and they were married for 27 years. They had two daughters, Jenny and Liza. After researching social science topics at the University of Michigan, he accepted a tenured position professorship in Sociology at Purdue University, where he was on faculty for over 35 years. He equally enjoyed teaching and research, with particular interest in race, climate change and education, among other topics.
Beyond his work, Marty enjoyed tennis, bike riding, walks through parks, telling jokes, singing and dancing. He was an avid reader, especially of history and politics, was always up to date on current events, and was active in the Democratic Party. He was a long-time member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tippecanoe County and an honored member of an informal men's group known as the "Wise Guys".
He served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, a volunteer at Lafayette Urban Ministry, advocated for action to address climate change, and was an early opponent of the Vietnam War. He was a longtime member of the Johnson Rags and a local folkdance club. He married Nancy Robinson in 1991. They enjoyed tours and cruises in several countries. Martin's love was his family. He was a devoted father, husband, step-father, father-in-law, grandfather and great grandfather.
Surviving family members include Nancy Patchen who lives in California, daughters Jenny Daniell of Leverett, MA, her husband Peter, and Liza Patchen-Short, of Mukilteo, WA, her husband Richard Emery. Martin had four grandchildren, Molly Daniell, Samuel Short, Jonah Daniell and Max Short and one great-grandson, Samani Rodriguez. His five step grandchildren are Emily and Adam Daniell, Arthur and Galen Emery and Brett Shirley, and step-son Stephen Robinson.
Martin lived with his daughter Jenny and son-in-law Peter Daniell for his last nine months in Leverett, MA. He will be profoundly missed by all his family and those who knew him for his unfaltering love and support. In lieu of flowers, please send remembrances to the Jewish Federation of Greater Lafayette, Nature Conservancy, Doctors Without Borders, or the Environmental Defense Fund.
There is a service planned for immediate family May 14th in Leverett, MA.
A grave side service will be planned in West Lafayette.
Posted online on April 30, 2022