Staff Report

Pat Troy (courtesy photo)

Pat Troy, a business and civic leader in Alexandria for nearly 50 years, died on March 22, just days after serving with his wife, Bernadette, as Grand Marshals of the Alexandria St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which he began 37 years ago. He was 76 years old.

Troy came to the Alexandria City Council meeting on Feb. 27, to receive Council’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade Proclamation. Although he served as the Ballyshaners’ parade chairman and Master of Ceremonies of the event for many years, he was never the Grand Marshal until this year. Troy was named a Living Legend of Alexandria in 2010.

Troy owned and operated Ireland’s Own Pub and Restaurant and the Irish Walk store for many years. He hosted political, cultural and social events and was a key part of Alexandria’s business community. He ran unsuccessfully for City Council as a Republican and lobbied Council to keep Old Town true to its historic character and its Irish heritage.

Pat Troy at the 2018 Irish Hooley (courtesy photo)

Troy’s faith was a vital part of his life. He was a member of the St. Mary’s Old Town Parish and made significant contributions to the life of the parish and the school. He recently led the crowd in a rendition of the Unicorn Song at the St. Patrick’s Irish Hooley.

Troy’s funeral will be held on Saturday, April 7, at the Basilica of St. Mary in Old Town. Visitation will be held at Demaine Funeral Home on Friday, April 6, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. will provide other information about these arrangements as it become available.

Below is an article that was written by the staff of the Arlington Catholic Herald on March 22. It is reprinted below in its entirety with permission.

Pat Troy, Alexandria legend, dies at 76

Catholic Herald Staff Report | March 22, 2018

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, came to Washington in September 1959 and in 1974 took over the Irish Walk Import Store in Alexandria. 

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