Patrick Carr, one of a group of Catholic laymen who helped start the Blanchet House of Hospitality, serving the hungry and poor in Northwest Portland since 1952, died March 15. He was 76.

Mr. Carr was born June 8, 1929, in Great Falls, Mont. During a move from Great Falls to Santa Barbara, Calif., his father became ill and died, forcing the family to settle in Portland, where they were at the time of his death.

Carr attended Central Catholic High School, where he was an honors student, football team captain, and a member of the ski team that won the state slalom championship. He attended college at the University of Santa Clara on a football scholarship before transferring to the University of Portland.

It was at the University of Portland that Carr was inspired to start the Blanchet House - along with his classmates James O'Hanlon, Dan Christianson and Eugene Feltz - by Father Francis Kennard, then chaplain at the university, and the spirit of Dorothy Day, who in the 1930s founded the Catholic Worker movement.

'Father Kennard always talked about the mystical body of Christ and the obligation to help ailing members of the body. That has been the cornerstone of the whole thing,' Pat Carr told the Sentinel on the occasion of Blanchet House's 50th anniversary in 2002.

Blanchet House continues to provide meals, showers, clothes and beds for the hungry and poor on Portland's streets to this day. Since its inception, the house has served more than 17 million hot meals and provided more than 1 million nights of safe rest.

'I hope we serve the need that is there through a combination of God's divine providence and some work we do ourselves, not just sitting on our rears,' Carr told the Sentinel. 'All of us really have gotten more out of Blanchet than we have put in.'

Carr, along with the other founders, received the University of Portland's Distinguished Alumni Award for their efforts. He also helped start the Ozanam House and Kitchen which served meals for shut-ins and the poor, and he was a founder of a local senior center.

For 20 years he was an active member of St. Thomas More Parish in Southwest Portland where he coached CYO football and basketball. He had recently retired and moved to Calaroga Terrace Retirement Center and become a member of Holy Rosary Parish in Northeast Portland.

'Pat's love for his fine family extended into a strong commitment to our Lord, our Lady and the Catholic church,' said longtime friend John DeZell of Portland. 'This was exemplified in his longtime service to the poor.'

Carr is survived by his children Tim, Susan, Catherine and Liz; four grandchildren; and former wife Marjorie Carr. He was preceded in death by his son Michael and his wife Frances.