Patrick Sarver
Patrick Sarver
Patrick Sarver
Patrick Sarver
Patrick Sarver
Patrick Sarver

Obituary of Patrick W. Sarver

Patrick Sarver, 77, passed away on January 20th, 2024 close to his family in Virginia after his decade long battle with Parkinsons. He was a Veteran who served in the Army during the Vietnam Era and was a successful editor, writer, and avid photographer who loved nature and exploring.

Born on December 30th, 1946 to Ora Little (Hazlett) and shortly after adopted and raised by Ora and Wayne Sarver of Independence, MO. Wayne was a meticulous carpenter and Ora an earnest entrepreneur and avid painter, instilled in Pat a hard working and creative spirit that would influence him throughout his life, including a love of travel during their frequent road trips to many national parks.

As a child, he was active in many activities including dabbling in the piano and baritone. He was in Boy Scouts, and earned the rank of Eagle in 1962. He was an enthusiastic bowler, playing all the way through high school on the bowling team, earning many trophies. He greatly enjoyed and invested in amateur radio and registered his own ham radio station where he practiced the combination of communications and technology.  He also loved and excelled at baseball in youth and high school, collecting baseball cards as a young kid. He claimed to once have had a large collection of Mickey Mantle cards which his mother, Ora Sarver, gave away when he went to college.

Pat graduated from Van Horn High School in 1964 and went on to college at University of Missouri-Rolla and graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1968. After graduation he moved to New Jersey and worked as an electrical engineer. However, he was drafted by the US Army during the Vietnam war in 1970, and spent two years of service at White Sands Military base in New Mexico helping to conduct research on artillery and missile impacts.

After his honorable discharge at the end of the war in 1972, he moved back to New Jersey and enrolled in a graduate program at Montclair State University where he studied creative writing. He moved out to Boulder Colorado and got engaged to his girlfriend Judy while she attended college there and they married in 1975.

Returning to New Jersey, Patrick finished his master’s degree in English in 1976 from Montclair State University, and continued to pursue his career in writing and travel. In the late ‘70s and early ‘80s he took up editor jobs at Outdoor Life Magazine and Exxon Travel Magazine, which granted him opportunities to write, photograph, and travel to places like Mexio and Kenya.

He and Judy moved to Bernardsville, NJ where they had two sons Eric and Matt. He dedicated time with them by coaching in little league baseball, participating in cub scouts, and taking them on many road trips across the U.S., visiting nearly every state. Most of all, he loved taking them to Independence, MO where they traveled frequently to see his parents, friends, and family.

Though he and Judy later divorced, he remained in Bernardsville nearly the rest of his life where he continued to work for some prestigious magazines, such as New Jersey Monthly and later at Rutgers Magazine where he served at both as an executive editor. Later in the 1990s he took a career at a small publishing company for three magazines (Art Trends, Hobby Publications, and Picture Framing Magazine) where he served for the rest of his career.

It was also in the 1990s when Patrick began to research his origins and located his birth mother Ora who now resided in California. After reaching out, he was able to connect and meet her along with children, his half-siblings, Ralph, Mike, Carol, and Aunt Sally in Missouri. Over the years he built a connection with this new found family and enjoyed getting to know them all. Later, in a peculiar and strange circumstance, Ora Little ended up relocating to Independence and befriended and moved in with Ora Sarver where they helped care for each other in their elder years. Patrick frequently visited them in Independence until his mother Ora Sarver’s passing and later Ora Little’s.

After retirement he continued his endeavors as a writer and researcher, authoring two novels (Wolf River Dreams in 2017 and Light of the Ancient Sun in 2019) as well as continuing to publish a series of travel books, New Jersey Day Trips, which he had begun as a side gig several years earlier.

With declining health due to Parkinsons, he moved to Virginia in 2021 to be closer to his family where he enjoyed his remaining years spending valuable time with his son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren, sharing laughs and stories, and visiting local parks and outdoor activities along the Potomac River.

Pat is preceded in death by his son Matt Sarver in 2020. Surviving is his son Eric Sarver, daughter-in-law Julia, and grandchildren Elina and Parker.

A funeral service will be held later this year in Independence, MO where he will be buried alongside his parents in Floral Hills cemetery.

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