on May 21, 2014 - 7:56 PM
, updated May 21, 2014 at 11:26 PM
Nov. 14, 1993 – May 19, 2014
On the night before one of Patrick J. Waldron’s cancer treatments, his men’s a capella choir at John Carroll University asked him to sing the solo in the Beatles’ “Let It Be.”
“He sang ‘Let It Be,’ then stood up there and told everyone about the challenge he was facing and how he was going to beat it,” said Mr. Waldron’s father, Keith. “He got a standing ovation.”
Mr. Waldron, a former standout high school athlete from Williamsville, died Monday in Roswell Park Cancer Institute after a seven-month battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 20.
Though the minimum age was 8, Mr. Waldron was allowed to begin golfing at Cherry Hill Club at age 6 when instructors saw how well he could swing a club. By age 12, he was finishing rounds with scores in the 70s. His best round came during the men’s district championship with a score of 69 from the back tees at Brookfield Country Club in Clarence. He also notched two holes-in-one during his career.
Mr. Waldron graduated in 2012 from St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, where he was named All-Catholic in golf and tennis.
He co-captained the golf team during his senior year and medaled during a cold, rainy weekend at the 2011 Midwest Prep Classic, said St. Joe’s golf coach Jack Herlan.
“Pat would help anybody he could, anytime he could,” Herlan said. “That’s the lasting impression I will have of Pat.”
Mr. Waldron was also a member of St. Joe’s Varsity Singers and played hockey. He coached Amherst Youth Hockey’s girls 12-and-under travel team and was a member of the Buffalo Canoe Club.
“Patrick was, quite simply, a genuinely good person,” said Robert T. Scott, St. Joe’s president. “He was supremely well-liked by his teachers and peers at St. Joe’s because he was both a gentleman and a gentle man. Patrick’s friends considered him a brother. His life and death have impacted our students tremendously.”
Mr. Waldron was in his second year at John Carroll, where he continued golfing and was studying history and philosophy.
“His passion was justice, and he wanted to be a judge,” Keith Waldron said. “Actually, I think his passion was more injustice. He hated injustice. It just would make him absolutely nuts.”
“The counselor came out in tears and said, ‘He’s worried about you. He asked me to come out and pray for you. Not for him,’ ” his father said.
Other survivors include his mother, Julie, and a sister, Madeline.
A Mass of Christian Burial, including a recording of Mr. Waldron singing “Let It Be,” will be offered at 9 a.m. Saturday in St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, 200 St. Gregory Court at Maple Road, Amherst.
– Joseph Popiolkowski