PatrickGeraghty PHOTO
Patrick G. Geraghty
Forever in our hearts

Judge Patrick G. Geraghty, Administrative Law Judge for the National Transportation Safety Board, died suddenly at his home in Brighton, CO, on February 6, 2016, at the age of 82.

He was born in New York City on April 6, 1933, to Patrick M. and Bernice Geraghty. After graduating high school and enlisting in the Navy, he worked hard to become one of the few enlisted men to be accepted to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1953.  He continued his studies at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1957. After serving as a Naval aviator in the US Marine Corps, he attended the Washington College of Law at American University, graduating in 1964, and was a member of the American University Law Review.

He held positions as a senior trial attorney for the Federal Aviation Administration as well as an Administrative Law Judge at the Department of Labor prior to joining the NTSB in 1975. In the 40+ years of dedicated service with the NTSB, Judge Geraghty heard cases across the country and internationally, and made decisions that set precedents in a number of areas, including hot air balloon aviation and most recently, a landmark case on the use of commercial drones.

He had a life-long passion for aviation, holding an airline transport pilot certificate and a flight instructor certificate.  In addition to his long and storied career at the NTSB, he was also a Lt. Col and senior member of the Civil Air Patrol.

He had an insatiable curiosity and love of learning that lead him to pursue many hobbies and interests.    He traveled all over the world, was a voracious reader and still regularly rode his motorcycle. He was also an avid scuba diver.  He earned the prestigious title of PADI Course Director, the highest and most elite professional rating in recreational scuba diving, certifying hundreds of divers and diving instructors during the 1980s and 90s.

In recent years, he learned to play the bagpipes, and took lessons in conversational Italian, including an immersion course in Italy.  At the time of his passing, he was working toward earning a black belt in Kung Fu, which he expected to complete this spring.

In addition to many colleagues and friends, Patrick is survived by his wife, Donna; his sons, Michael and Matthew, and his beloved grandsons Matt and Jack. 

A committal service will be held at Ft. Logan National Cemetery in Denver on Friday, February 26 at 2:00pm. Please use the North gate entrance to Staging Area A.

Patrick was a devoted animal lover and supporter.  In lieu of flowers, donations to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, CO ( can be made in his honor.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by David Voyles on 13th July 2016

"I had a case before Judge Geraghty in 2012.  He was an excellent judge and had a very sharp legal mind.  To his family -- thank you for sharing the Judge with us in the legal community.  Best wishes to you all during this time."

This tribute was added by Erin Masferrer on 25th February 2016

"A tear stained cheek…
A sudden streak of inspiration
sparkles through the constellation
Achieving perfect grief and indignation
and deeper sinking into contemplation
My thoughts all flew on the star’s bright track
and as its tail was swishing back
I reached out and took hold
and for a moment, I stayed gold

I feel very honored and privileged to have known Patrick. When he walked into our school at the age of 81, I was impressed by his sheer nerve. The days that followed he continually inspired me by his dedication, discipline, stubbornness and incorrigible joie de vivre. He’d walk in with a smile, put on his uniform and begin practice without hesitation. He met every challenge with steadfast determination. He would captivate you with stories from his past. I’ll never forget that goofy grin of his and how it never failed to make me smile.  

"Until we meet again, may God Hold you in the palm of his hand."

This tribute was added by David Soard on 25th February 2016

"In a sense, we only knew Patrick for a very short time, throughout his very exciting and fulfilling life!
But he has left a lasting impression on all of those who trained with him.
His level of spirit and dedication was an inspiration to ALL!
He never baulked nor hesitated from any task/skill, and looked forward to the next challenge!
And his love for life, and all creatures, is an example of his character!
He WAS a Black Belt, for all intents & purposes, by his actions!
He WILL be missed.
Safe journey, My Friend!
Zai Jian"

This tribute was added by Dina Clayborn-Cochran on 21st February 2016

"I worked with Judge Geraghty from l975 until I retired in l995.  He was a great Judge.  I learned so much from him.  He was also a great friend. I am truly saddened to learn of his death.  The NTSB has lost of its greatest Judges.  The aviation world has also lost with his passing.  My prayers are with Donna and family at this very sad time.  Dina Clayborn"

This tribute was added by Robert Patlovany on 20th February 2016

"I flew in a Civil Air Patrol plane with Patrick once as a safety pilot while he was practicing instrument skills.  It was an amazing honor to be in the same plane with him while we slipped the surly bonds of Earth together and trod the high untrespassed sanctity of space.  Godspeed, Patrick."

This tribute was added by Anne Smith on 20th February 2016

"It was my pleasure and a blessing to serve Judge Pat in the capacity of Legal Secretary/Legal Asst. and Judge's Asst. for 18 years.  I served in the legal profession for over 44 years and it was the "icing on the cake" to work with and for him, as well as Judge Roger Mullins.  We were good friends as well as compatible "work partners."  I miss him so much and pray he is with our Savior where I'll see him when the Lord calls me home. I pray for his family-he adored them all.   In Christian love, Anne Smith."

This tribute was added by Sarah Sczuka on 19th February 2016

"I enjoyed knowing Patrick over the years. His diverse endeavors were fun to hear about and often motivated me. I liked laughing with him too! So he's on to a new adventure now and I wish him the best.

My love and sympathy to his dear family, Aunt Sarah"

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This memorial is administered by:

Marybeth Schuh


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