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Pat Troy, Alexandria legend, dies at 76

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Pat Troy, known as an Alexandria legend, has died. He was 76.

Troy and his wife, Bernadette, were this year’s grand marshals of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Alexandria. He led the effort to begin the St. Patrick’s Day Parade 37 years ago.

Troy was a longtime parishioner of the Basilica of St. Mary in Alexandria. 

Troy was born July 12, 1941, in Oxford, England, to Michael and Kathleen Troy. His parents moved to England from their village of Kilcormac, in County Offaly, Ireland, soon after their marriage. They returned to Kilcormac a few months after Pat’s birth.

He worked as a butler at Birr Castle for five years, where he met an American tourist who offered to sponsor him for his move to America. 

He immigrated to the United States in August 1961, landing first in Detroit. He and his wife, Bernadette, took over the Irish Walk Import Store in Alexandria in 1974. 

Troy appeared on the game show “What’s My Line?” in 1963 and won a prize of $250.  

He opened the Ireland’s Own Bar and Restaurant in 1980, where he hosted the diocesan Theology on Tap series for young adults for many years. President Ronald Reagan visited the bar March 17, 1988. 

In 2010, Troy was honored with a Living Legends of Alexandria award.  

Troy published his autobiography, I Have a Story to Tell, in 2011, describing his life as a butler, businessman, Irish-American and a Catholic.

He was involved in the Old Town Association, and served on the board of governors with the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and the Alexandria Visitor Center. 

He and Bernadette were granted an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican Sept. 11, 2013.  

He received the Irish Spirit Award at the first-ever Irish Heritage Night, before the Nationals vs. Diamondbacks game at Nationals Park in Washington, May 2, 2017. 

He is survived by Bernadette and his children, Patrick and Kathleen, and other family members. 

A viewing and vigil will be held April 6 at Demaine Funeral Home, 520 S. Washington St., 6-8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered April 7 at the Basilica of St. Mary, 310 S. Royal St., Alexandria, at 11 a.m., with burial to follow at St. Mary Cemetery.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018