Padraic Conan McCracken at the age of 50 lost his battle to brain cancer, dying peacefully on Wednesday, March 25, in his home in Longwood, Florida, surrounded by his wife Kelly and children Fiona and Liam.
Padraic had been diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade IV, the most aggressive form of a deadly brain cancer two years earlier. Similar to his walk in life, he fought his cancer bravely and fiercely seeking treatments at Duke, MD Anderson, UCLA, and here in Orlando. During his battle he underwent two brain surgeries, multiple radiation treatments, chemotherapy, blood transfusions and associated surgeries and hospitalizations.
Pat, who grew up with the nickname Paddy, fought his battle against cancer like he lived his life: with a quiet but heroic reserve, fiercely living the life he had left with the people he loved most. He traveled the world with his family, watched his children run 19 mile races, and even saw his son complete a 39 mile race challenge at the age of 15. He loved to watch his daughter ride horses competitively and watch his son play soccer. They took hikes, road trips, played games, attended family birthday parties, and so much more; and that was all after cancer. Before cancer he was the dad that threw the kids in the pool while the other grown ups were talking on the side, he taught countless kids how to skateboard and ride bikes, and volunteered at the kids’ school to take the kids canoeing. He took professional photographs of his daughters varsity cheer squad and never missed an opportunity to love on his kids. Pat lived a more present and engaged life with his children and wife, than most people live in a lifetime.
Paddy was born the second of four children in Queens, New York, to Rosemary and Bill McCracken on August 27, 1969. He grew up in a fireman’s family in the Irish neighborhood of Marine Park in Brooklyn, New York. The family moved to Longwood, Florida, where Paddy finished middle and high school. After high school Paddy joined the Navy, entering college with an NROTC scholarship. He attended Jacksonville University, where he met his wife Kelly. He graduated in 1992, and was commissioned as a Naval Officer. He married Kelly at Annunciation Catholic Church on July 9th, 1994. Pat’s military career found them living in many places including San Diego, CA (USS SIDES FFG-14) Pensacola, FL (flight training) and Fairfax, VA (BUPERS). Paddy eventually separated from the Navy to pursue his dream of commercial air flying. He was intensely proud to work for Delta Airlines and to accomplish his lifelong dream to become a captain at his airline of choice.
In his spare time Paddy had many hobbies that he perused with a pilots passion. He was a mountain climber, scuba diver, and sky diver. He was a watch maker, photographer, and loved to tinker with his old Jeep. He loved hiking, working out, and had a deep love of history and pride in our country and his Irish heritage.
Pat will probably be best known for his deep love to his family, his quiet but commanding presence, his dry sense of humor and contagious laugh, his love of adventure, his honor and integrity, and his undying loyalty to all of those he loved.
Pat never really liked the “Pat was survived by” section of an obituary because he loved his friends and cousins deeply like family. Paddy is survived by all those who were honored and lucky enough to be loved by him and proud to call him husband, dad, son, bother, cousin and friend.
In lieu of flowers, a GoFundMe account for his family has been established and can be accessed here:
Fundraiser by Lisa Evans : Let’s Help The McCracken Family
Funeral Services are on hold until after the COVID-19 pandemic is under control and it is safe to travel and celebrate this great man as a community. Until that time please hold Paddy and his family close in your heart.
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