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Patrick E. Hackett

March 25, 1926 December 2, 2017
Patrick E. Hackett
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Obituary for Patrick E. Hackett

Patrick Ernest Hackett, age 91, of Brighton Michigan and Venice Florida, died peacefully surrounded by his family on December 2, 2017. “The Legend,” as he came to be known, loved deeply and lived life to the fullest. Whether baiting a fish hook, savoring a Coney Dog, swimming lengths (or later, widths) of the pool, hitting a straight tee shot, navigating Michigan’s U.P. in his family motor home, captaining a pontoon boat, laughing with friends, soaking up Florida sunshine, delighting in music of all kinds, or singing his own duets with his beloved Barbara, Pat experienced and reveled in life’s many blessings.

Pat was the second youngest of Lillian (Gannon) and John Franklin (“Doc”) Hackett’s 10 children. Smart, witty, curious, loyal, and mischievous, Pat excelled at Sacred Heart Academy in Mount Pleasant, Michigan and had begun his collegiate career at Central Michigan University (CMU) when he answered the call to serve and joined 3 older brothers in the armed forces during World War II. Pat served honorably in the US Navy in the Philippine Islands, and upon discharge in 1945, he continued his education at CMU, followed by enrollment at University of Detroit (now U of D Mercy) Law School. On his first day of law school, the handsome young vet with the sparkling blue eyes spotted, and attempted to charm, a lovely young classmate (one of only four women in their post-war class of 170) by attempting (unsuccessfully) to steal her locker. As he said, “I was nothing if not suave.” The rest is history. Patrick married his beloved Barbara (Kloka) on April 19, 1952, and this past spring, they celebrated 65 years together.

Pat was an outstanding attorney, practicing railroad law for over 50 years. He began his career as Assistant General Attorney in Detroit for the New York Central Railroad Company (1952-1968), and its successor, Penn Central Transportation Company (1968-1970). He became General Attorney for Penn Central’s Northern Region in 1970, then General Attorney for Conrail in Detroit in 1976. He entered private practice, still specializing in railroad law, in 1978.

Pat was active in various professional, civic, service, and political organizations. He was elected president of the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel in 1973 and was chair of its Executive Committee. He also served as President of the Michigan Railroad Lawyers Association. Pat was recognized in Michigan State Senate Resolution No. 134, adopted on March 1, 2000, as the “undisputed dean” of Michigan Railroad Counsel, having also authored a complete revision of the Michigan Railroad Code in 1993. In 2006, Pat was inducted into the Michigan Transportation Hall of Honor, in recognition of his remarkable career. He was a life member of the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference, and past chair of the Michigan delegation; a charter member of the Incorporated Society of Irish Lawyers; and a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Pat was a member and Post Commander in the American Legion, and served as Michigan Department Judge Advocate in 1979 and 1987. Pat was also a member of the Detroit Lawyers Glee Club and a life member of the Knights of Columbus, which he joined at age 18.

Notwithstanding his many accomplishments and accolades, Pat was quick to say the best thing he ever did was to marry Barbara. A man of deep Catholic faith, Irish humor and grace, he was also strongly committed to justice. Pat was generations ahead of his time as a champion of the women in his life, celebrating his seven daughters’ diverse goals and achievements, and his wife Barbara’s own distinguished legal career.

Oh, how Pat and Barb loved their life together, and each other. Their backyard pool parties and motor home trips became legendary. They enjoyed traveling throughout Michigan and across the country, with their children and grandchildren, and later, together, to warmer climates such as Venice, Florida, where they lived full time in recent years. Pat also journeyed to Ireland on more than one occasion, returning with family lore and memories to share. He cherished his time with family and friends. The Pat Hackett “Brush with Greatness” Invitational (begun to celebrate his proudest achievement in golf, a Hole-in-One) became an annual outing and reunion for family and friends -- many of whom do not golf!

In addition to his beloved Barbara, Pat Hackett is survived by his 7 daughters, Sue Delonis (the late Bob Delonis), Carol Hackett Garagiola (Steve Garagiola), Lynn Hackett, Meg Hackett, M. Patricia Hackett (Rita Koehler), Elizabeth Hackett (Richard Parry), and Sarah Hackett (Greg Cascione); by his 11 grandchildren, Bobby Delonis (Jocelyne Vigier), Martin Delonis (Genevieve Delonis), Matthew Delonis, Katie Garagiola (Michael Masson), Megan Garagiola, Ruth Whitney (Bill Whitney), Francis Shiman-Hackett, Anna Seerey, Patrick Hackett Carrier, Kevin Hackett Carrier, and Beth Hackett Carrier; by his 5 great grandchildren, Sophie Delonis-Vigier, Corinne Delonis-Vigier, Juliet Whitney, Emile Masson, Lillian Delonis; by his brother-in-law Bob Rainer; by many loving nieces and nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews; and by countless friends.

Pat was preceded in death by his parents, Doc and Lillian Hackett of Mount Pleasant, Michigan; by his 9 siblings Jim (Theo) Hackett, Mary (Ed) Valliere, John (Sally) Hackett, Ed Hackett, Tom (Nancy) Hackett, Rose (Reinard) Nanzig, Rev. Frank Hackett, Ann (Tom) O’Brien, and Katie Rainer; and by his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Millie and Bob Pastor.

Visitation is scheduled for Thursday evening, December 7, 2017 from 6:00PM – 8:00PM at Saint Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, 2201 S. Old US 23, Brighton, MI 48114, with a prayer service from 7:30PM – 8:00PM. A Mass of the Resurrection and interment are scheduled for Friday morning, December 8, 2017 at 11:00AM (with visitation from 10-11AM) also at Saint Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Brighton, Michigan, with a reception to follow. Fr. David F. Howell will officiate. For further information, contact Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors in Brighton at http://www.lynchandsonsbrighton.com/. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Pat’s life.

The family would like to thank the staffs of IHA Health, Independence Village Brighton, Bright Star Home Health Care, Arbor Hospice and Palliative Care, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and Home Care, and more, for their care and compassionate concern during Pat’s final illness. In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that those who wish to send a donation in Pat’s memory consider the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit, Michigan www.cskdetroit.org/, the Wounded Warrior Project https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/, or Sacred Heart Academy in Mount Pleasant, Michigan http://academy.sha.net/.

Previous Events

Visitation

Thursday

7

Dec

6:00 PM 12/7/2017 6:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 12/7/2017 8:00:00 PM
St. Mary Magdalen Church

2201 S. Old US 23
Brighton, MI 48114

St. Mary Magdalen Church
2201 S. Old US 23 Brighton 48114 MI
United States

Service

Friday

8

Dec

11:00 AM 12/8/2017 11:00:00 AM
St. Mary Magdalen Church

2201 S. Old US 23
Brighton, MI 48114

St. Mary Magdalen Church
2201 S. Old US 23 Brighton 48114 MI
United States
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