Mary Patricia "Pat" Riedel, a lifetime resident of Highland Falls, entered into rest on March 22, 2018 at St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital, Newburgh, NY. Daughter of the late Michael J. and Mary Finnen Brown, she was born on August 10, 1925 in Highland Falls.
Pat graduated as salutatorian of the Class of 1942, HFHS, and four days later began her secretarial career at West Point. She retired from West Point with 39 years Civil Service, the last 25 as personal secretary to eight USMA Superintendents: Generals Westmoreland, Lampert, Bennett, Koster, Knowlton, Berry, Goodpaster and Scott. The highlight of this time was when General Westmoreland asked her to record in shorthand and then transcribe General MacArthur's famous "Duty, Honor, Country" speech on his acceptance of the Thayer Award on May 12, 1962. Three hours later, West Point had the only transcription, since General MacArthur spoke without benefit of notes or from a prepared speech. Before returning to West Point, Pat worked for the Justice Department in Los Angeles from 1952-1957.
Pat always considered being a co-founder, past president and secretary of the Garden Club of The Highlands her gift back to the community of Highland Falls, which she dearly loved. Pat was a communicant of Sacred Heart Church and volunteered at the Sacred Heart Thrift Shop. She was a member of the Beautification Committee of VISION, the Constitution Island Association and an active gardener at the Island, Highland Falls Historical Society, Fort Montgomery Battle Field Association, The Highlanders Senior Citizen Club, and a former member of the Executive Committee, Highland Falls Girl Scouts. In 2005 Pat was one of the recipients of the Mayor's "Women of Distinction" Awards. Pat's pride and joy was her granddaughter, Kathryn, who brought her so much happiness.
Pat is survived by daughter, Patricia Youngberg and husband Arne of Cheshire, CT; granddaughter Kathryn Y. Armstrong and husband Aaron, great grandson Finnen James Armstrong, and great granddaughter Skylar Rose Armstrong of Fairfield, CT, sister-in-law Arline Brown of Cornwall, and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her son, John "Al" Riedel, sisters: Ella Newhard and Marcy Brown, and her brother Michael J. Brown.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3rd at William F. Hogan Funeral Home, 135 Main Street, Highland Falls, NY. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 4th at Sacred Heart Church, 353 Main Street, Highland Falls, NY. Burial will follow in Peacedale Cemetery, Highland Falls, NY.
Memorial contributions may be made in Pat's name to Sacred Heart Church of Highland Falls or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.