Hundreds pay their respects at visitation service for Pat Conroy

BEAUFORT, SC – Monday night the Lowcountry remembered author Pat Conroy; who died this past Friday after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Hundreds attended a large visitation held in Beaufort Monday night at Anderson Funeral Home.

Fans of Pat Conroy say he was a master story teller.

“I know him through his books,” said Sandra Simmons.

He carefully crafted novels, blending his abusive family life with the beautiful Beaufort landscape to create timeless works of art.

“Every time we see a winding river or smell pluff mudd, it will be Pat Conroy, and we will think of him,” said Simmons.

Roland Gardner says he’s known Conroy since high school. Gardner told News 2, “Pat didn’t see race…growing up on St. Helen Island from Beaufort, it was very near and dear to me, and he just made me appreciate it much, much more.”

Just last month Conroy announced his pancreatic cancer diagnosis to the world. He died last Friday.

Monday, people of all ages, races and backgrounds came to pay their respects to the Prince of Tides author who also wrote 10 other books.

Conroy’s close friend, Janis Owens, spoke on behalf of Conroy’s family.

“The family has all been overwhelmed by the love and support and not just across the country, but right here where they loved. They loved this area. It was the place he loves and where his heart was and they returned his love and it means to much to them,” explained Owens.

Conroy died surrounded by his friends and family at the age of 70.

Tuesday, the funeral for Pat Conroy will take place at Saint Peter’s Church on Ladies Island. The funeral is happening at 11:00 a.m. followed by a private burial.

News 2’s Carolyn Murray will be in Beaufort covering the life and legacy of this very special man.

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