Remembering Pat Conroy - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Remembering Pat Conroy

Pat Conroy, (Source: WTOC) Pat Conroy, (Source: WTOC)

Beaufort author Pat Conroy was laid to rest Tuesday.

Conroy, a New York Times bestselling author passed away last week after a brief fight with pancreatic cancer. Among the crowds were family, friends, and even some who didn’t know Conroy personally.

Hundreds of people said their final goodbyes at the St. Peter’s Catholic Church on Lady’s Island. Among the huge crowd are dozens of people from the Citadel who say Conroy personally invited them here to celebrate his life.

“He invited the class of 2001. He likes to leave a gift for all the folks he gives a commencement address to for, and our gift was to come to his funeral and to access the funeral, all we have to do is show our ring, let them see the year, of 2001, and say I wear the ring,” said Russ Touchberry, Citadel Alumni.

Like Conroy’s bestselling books, his ability to captivate an audience left a great impression on The Citadel’s Class of 2001. Fifteen years later, the class came to Beaufort to honor Conroy’s request that they take part and attend his funeral.

“Pat’s a very special guy to the Citadel family. It was a great honor, the gift he gave us, to be a part of his funeral, but really what a lot about during his speech was how short time was,” said Touchberry.

Life is short, but folks who knew Conroy best say he spent his time on earth living life to the fullest, while touching the lives of many others through his work.

“It really is a story of life, 70-years-old, nobody thinks about passing that early. We thought Pat would go many, many years and continue his writing but God has a plan for all of us and Pat was taken in our opinion much too early,” said Lt. Gen. John Rosa, president of The Citadel. “I think Pat really was the Lowcountry. If you look at his writing, like many of us have, it was all about the Lowcountry. He loved Beaufort, he loved Charleston, and he just loved the Lowcountry.”

Conroy was buried in an undisclosed cemetery during a private ceremony for his family and friends.

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