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Patrice Crommelin Longley

Dates: 1925 - 2010

Patrice Crommelin Longley
b. March 18, 1925
d. December 7, 2010
m. June 20, 1947 to Dwight Francis Longley, son of George Stephen Longley, Jr. and Emma Madeleine Brooks.

Pat was the youngest of two children born to Paul Gifford Crommelin and Florence (Florie) Louise Austin. Her older brother Paul, Jr. was someone she always looked up to, a well-trusted and good-humored older brother. From an early age, Pat showed her zest for life and relationships, and disinterest in book learning. It's not that she was a bad student. To the contrary, she was always able to perform well, as long as she could do a drawing or picture as a part of her assignment. Her love for art began early, influenced in no small part by her grandfather Edwin Crawley (2nd husband to her grandmother Crommelin), who had an aptitude in hand drawing, and who gave her positive encouragement. Growing up in the era of the great Walt Disney, she painstakingly and faithfully replicated many of his early cartoon characters, including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Bambi.

Pat's love for art matured and then followed her to college. She attended Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. There she applied her skill, making paintings and sketches for all her subjects--on the principle that a picture is worth a thousand words, and maybe an A. During her second year she was summoned to have a meeting with the Dean. His message was direct. ďPat. Letís be realistic. You are a terrific artist, but you donít seem to have much interest in learning math, science or Spanish. Why donít you study art?Ē Considering this sage advice, Pat applied to and was accepted at the Yale School of Art--this at a time when the Ivy League schools were all male, and no less difficult to enter as they are today. There at Yale, Pat poured herself into the study of art, honing her skills in all media from sculpture to life drawings to painting. She even took faithful notes in her art history classes, proving that if the subject was of interest, she was indeed a good student.

It was there at Yale that she would meet her husband, Dwight Longley. Dwight was returning home from his WW II service in the Army Air Corps on the same troop train as a young discharged naval officer, Paul Crommelin. The two struck up a conversation and soon found out that their parents were neighbors, in Madison, New Jersey--and that Paul had a little sister that Dwight might just like to meet. In those days, Pat would send her laundry home to be cleaned--from New Haven via train. It was on the excuse of returning her clean clothes that Paul, with new friend, Dwight, in tow, would go to Yale to find Pat.

For Pat and Dwight, their meeting was love "at first sight." They became engaged within a month. But on advice from Pat's parents, the two waited a year to be married--an event that took place the following June at Madison Presbyterian Church in Madison, New Jersey.

By the mid-1950's, after the birth of three children, Pat's love for art re-emerged. She painted stage sets for the Florham Park Players, hand lettered 8th grade diplomas for Ridgedale School, drew charcoal portraits of her children, then of the children of all her friends. Each year she made Christmas cards, tight little pen and ink drawings. This led to more pen and inks for friends--their houses, historic houses in town (as a member of the Historic Society), then the Little Red Schoolhouse and the Florham Park (New Jersey) borough logo. Soon her reputation spread to a young realtor who thought that a pen and ink of a house would be a nice touch--a gift to those who purchased one of his listings. Jim Weichert was in his late twenties then, and Pat had the pleasure of drawing many houses for him. Alas, Jim soon was selling so many houses that Pat couldnít keep up with the volume. His idea seemed to be working.

From there Pat got into new crafts--first illuminated calligraphy, which led to miniature paintings, which led to scrimshaw. All this she did with a passion for excellence, needing always the right colors, the right tools, insisting always on the best framing to properly show off her work. In all these labors Pat's talent grew, ever climbing to new heights, awards and recognition. An egg she painted is in the collection at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. An illuminated calligraphy and picture of The White House hangs in the Reagan Library. And over the decades that followed, Pat made new acquaintances in the art community as she looked forward to the many shows that displayed and sold her art. With each piece she displayed or had published in the newspaper she enhanced her reputation. And with each piece she sold she made a new friend. She painted to show her love and to be loved, and much love came to her. In all she would win seventeen different awards for her art, and would help to establish the Miniature Art Society of America, New Jersey and others. During this prolific period, her work was displayed in galleries in Arizona, New Jersey, Florida and, last but not least, on her beloved vacation isle, Nantucket, Massachusetts--where she and Dwight spent twenty eight Septembers.

Dwight passed away February 10, 2005, and Pat entered a difficult and lonely period of her life. With failing eyesight, her ability to generate tight little, amazingly photographic, art became impossible. But during that time she continued to give away from out of her massive treasure of art--originals drawings, scrimshaw, and many of her prints--all that she had stored up over six decades of incredible productivity. Then, on December 7, after struggling with cancer, she followed her husband in death. Pat left behind three children, Janice Wentworth (Longley) Kapferer, James Dwight Longley, and Peter Gifford Longley; together with nine grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

Pat will be missed. But her art, and her eye for the world lives on.

Here is a picture of Pat (right)--taken while vacationing on Nantucket. Pat loved her colorful garb, lightship basket, and being around animals--usual subjects of her art.

Daniel and Friends

Nantucket Lightship Basket


Kramer and Pete

Nantucket Street

Notes by son, Peter Longley, December 4, 2011

Relationship: Patrice Crommelin to Daniel Crommelin

Daniel Crommelin
b: 28 Feb 1646/47 St. Quentin, Picardy, France
d: 15 Apr 1725 New York
6th great grandfather

Charles Crommelin
b: 01 Jan 1678/79 Charenton, nr. Paris
d: 09 May 1739 New York, USA
5th great grandfather

Charles Crommelin
b: 22 Aug 1722 New York
d: 01 Jan 1811 Hempstead Plains, NY
4th great grandfather

Robert Crommelin
b: 05 Feb 1772 New York
d: 07 Sep 1815 Brooklyn, Kings, NY
3rd great grandfather

Robert James Crommelin
b: 20 Jan 1795 Brooklyn, Kings, NY
d: 05 Mar 1849 Brooklyn, Kings, NY
2nd great grandfather

Robert Oscar Crommelin
b: 1830 Brooklyn, Kings, NY
d: 26 Feb 1885 Rosedale cemetary, Orange, Essex
Great grandfather

Alfred Mitchell Crommelin
b: Jul 1857 New York
d: Sep 1903 Rosedale cemetary, Orange, Essex,
Paternal grandfather

Paul Gifford Crommelin
b: 02 Feb 1893 West Orange, Essex, NJ
d: 23 May 1973 Wissahickon, PA

Patrice Longley-Crommelin
b: 18 Mar 1925
Orange, Essex, New Jersey, USA
d: 7 Dec 2010
Madison, New Jersey