Merle R. “Joe” Patenaude, Jr. (1933-2019)

Merle PatenaudeHENNIKER, NH:  Merle R. “Joe” Patenaude, Jr., 85, died on April 19, 2019.  He was born May 18, 1933, the first child of Merle R. patenaude, Sr. and Marjorie (Smith) Patenaude in Henniker, NH.

He is survived by his wife, Beverly (Bailey) Patenaude; his siblings, David Patenaude, Wayne Patenaude, Stuart Patenaude of Henniker and Diane McMahon of Hooksett; his children, Joey Patenaude of Henniker and Susan Patenaude of Narragansett, RI; his grandchildren, Ross Patenaude of Henniker and Hayden Decker of Long Beach, CA.

He graduated from Henniker High School in 1951 and furthered his education at UNH.  He served in the US Army during the Korean Conflict, stationed in Anchorage, AK.

After returning from military service, he met and married Beverly Ann Bailey of Boscawen.  Also at this time, he and his brother, David Patenaude, became co-owners of Pat’s Poultry Place, an egg business in Henniker, started by his father in 1937.  In 1962, he and his brother, Stuart, began developing another business in Henniker, a ski area, they named Pats Peak.  He and his brothers performed much of the work themselves, including clearing the trails and building the lodge.

Always an avid gardener and fruit grower, in 1979, he acquired land on the hill behind Pats Peak and established Peak Orchards, where he grew apples and peaches.  Peak Orchards became the focus of his energy upon his retirement from the ski business in 1993.  While his greatest passion was growing things, he also enjoyed deep-sea fishing and golf.  He was an accomplished golfer, winning both the New Hampshire and New England left-handed golfing championships when he was in his twenties.  The self-taught knowledge he acquired to install Pats Peak innovative snow-making system led to work as a consultant for Alford International, a snowmaking design and construction company.  In 1973, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Valley Bank of Hillsborough and Henniker, where he served as Vice President of the Board of Directors.  

Friends and and family are invited to attend a celebration of his life when the trees are in bloom at his beloved orchard, the exact date and time yet to be announced.

The Holt-Woodbury Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Henniker, NH is assisting the family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Joe’s name to the Henniker Rescue Squad, 216 Maple St, Henniker, NH 03242.

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