Patrick Winthrop Lombard
1971 - 2001
"I can see clearly now"
an early age, Patrick Winthrop Lombard had a constant curiosity
of the world around him. Each day was filled with questions and
exploration of texture, temperature and sound. These senses were
his gateway to the world because he was born blind.
Patrick, born August 22, 1971 in Anchorage, Alaska, was the only
son and first child born to Stephen Lombard and Caroline Peck
Lombard. He has two younger sisters, Jennifer and Melanie. Melanie
was born on Patrick's ninth birthday, one of many coincidences
that occurred throughout his life.
Even as a young child, Patrick's great interest was space exploration.
He envisioned a world where space travel would be commonplace.
As a fifth grader, Patrick wrote a poem for a class assignment
entitled "The Moon." The poem, with accompanying tactile
artwork, was selected for the National Very Special Arts for the
Handicapped 1985 calendar. When interviewed by the media about
that honor, Patrick said he expected that by the year 2025 people
would be living on the moon, and that is where he would be.
Patrick was fascinated with science, especially physics, astronomy,
quantum mechanics, computers, and pharmacology. He studied the
works of the great physicists and scientists and devised his own
theories about the nature of the universe, the space-time continuum,
and the interconnectedness of life and consciousness. He loved
to challenge his friends and family with discussions about space
and time. Patrick counted on having plenty of time to choose a
career, and was considering computer programming. Because of his
study of and interest in pharmaceuticals, his physician encouraged
him to consider the field of psychopharmacology. As a young child,
Patrick wanted to be an astronaut but, as he said then, they weren't
taking blind persons just yet.
Music was an important part of Patrick's life. Although he was
born with perfect pitch, he never learned to play an instrument.
Instead, he immersed himself in music that expressed his interpretation
of life and the universe. He especially considered the music of
Pink Floyd to be mind-expanding and enlightening.
Patrick experienced a form of mild autism that kept him somewhat
isolated; he described it as "living in his head." Despite
this challenge, he had his own place, established great friendships,
and nearly always had a special girlfriend in his life. Patrick
knew how to have fun - he really loved parties, dancing, and good
beer. And he always maintained a close relationship with his parents
Patrick had an optimistic view of life and was intrigued by the
possibilities that might be just around the corner. He never expected
his life to end so soon. But he once expressed a desire to be
cryogenically frozen and come back someday to see the future advancements
in technology. That was not to be. But to his final voyage into
space, he would no doubt say, "Right on!"