William Patrick "Pat" Tully Sr., 79, passed away unexpectedly July 26, 2012, at Hardin Memorial Hospital.
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He was a familiar face in Kentucky classrooms and state high school basketball courts for more than 40 years. A scholarship athlete at Centre College, class of 1957, Tully taught and coached throughout the state, including Caneyville, Liberty, Lebanon, Saint Francis, Marion County and Holy Cross high schools. Local residents will remember Tully best for his years at West Hardin and North Hardin high schools.
Tully had a life-long fascination with all things human. He loved to visit and converse in the towns and counties around him, making him a unique storyteller and expert on Kentucky folklore. Happiest when he was meeting people, he had a unique eye for finding the "story within the story" that most people simply miss or never take the time to learn.
He loved nothing more than to tell of his travels, his players, his students, his friends, his heritage and his family. He found balance, perspective and wisdom in the lives of those he met on Main Street, on the back roads of Kentucky, in small towns, and in the big cities he loved to visit. He loved sporting events of all kinds and never attended just to watch; he also was there to converse with old friends, or better yet, to find himself a new friend.
This natural curiosity about the world and people around him made him an effective coach, teacher and motivator of young minds.
He was that rare individual who seemed to know everyone. In Elizabethtown or New York City, he could enter a room full of people and spot an old friend. He will be remembered for his love of family and his belief that every day is a chance to tell - or learn - a new story.
Tully was born on March 17, 1933, in Grayson County, growing up in Big Clifty.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Barbara Miller Tully; four children, Deborah Tully Eversole of Louisville, Pat Tully Jr. of Elizabethtown, Karen Tully Simmons of Elizabethtown and Deirdre Tully McCamish of Connecticut; two sisters, Clara Tully of Louisville and Doris Ann Farzan of Virginia; eight grandchildren, Michael, Katherine, Barbara, Caitlin, Jennifer, John Patrick, Matthew and Beckett; and two great-grandchildren, Nicholas and Patrick.
A memorial service for family and friends is at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, at the Historic State Theater's First Federal Gallery in Elizabethtown. Please bring your favorite stories and memories to share.
Published in The News-Enterprise on Aug. 1, 2012