Patrick Walsh Browne
Patrick Walsh Browne
  • April 14, 1933 - April 20, 2017
  • New Orleans, Louisiana

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Pat W. Browne Jr.

April 14, 1933 - April 20, 2017

Patrick “Pat” Walsh Browne Jr., a New Orleans lawyer, businessman and legendary blind golfer, passed away peacefully in his sleep on the morning of April 20, 2017 at his home in New Orleans. He was 84 years old.

A lifelong New Orleanian, Pat attended Holy Name of Jesus School, Jesuit High School, Tulane University and Tulane Law School. Pat excelled in athletics as a high school student at Jesuit, and competitive sports remained a lifelong passion and pursuit. While an undergraduate at Tulane University, Pat was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and a three-year letterman in both golf and basketball, having served as captain of each team for two years. Pat was always a true southern gentleman; a term aptly fit for a man who exuded care, loyalty, wit, charm, joy and most importantly, faith. It was his deep faith in God that gave him strength to overcome a life changing car accident at the age of 33, in which he suffered numerous injuries, most notably his complete loss of sight. At the time of the accident, he was a scratch golfer, a successful young attorney with Jones Walker and the father of three young daughters. He could have easily let his sudden blindness paralyze him; but instead, his faith continued to grow, forever saying “The Lord will never give me more than I can handle”. Following the loss of his sight, Pat went on to marry the love of his life, and to become the father of his only son, Patrick W. Browne III. He also began a new career in banking, serving as President of Hibernia Homestead (now Hibernia Bank) for over 30 years while also becoming the most successful blind golfer in the history of the sport. Pat amassed over 70 victories worldwide, including 23 USBGA National Championships, 20 of which were won in consecutive years. Pat's numerous honors and accolades included being inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, the Tulane Athletic Hall of Fame, the Sugar Bowl Hall of Fame, and the United States Blind Golf Hall of Fame. In 2015, Pat was nominated by Arnold Palmer for the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Blind golfers are accompanied by a coach who positions the golfer and the ball on the course, and Pat was blessed to have worked with dedicated coaches throughout his career, including Henry Sarpy, Pepe Colomes, Donald Doyle, Gerry Barousse, David Clark, Charles Monsted, Jamie Christovich, John Holmes, Jake Narro, Clark Gaines, Robert Birtel, Michael Birtel, and his son Patrick Browne, III. No one ever heard Pat say that “I” won a national championship. He always said “we won”. To Pat, blind golf was always a team sport. Pat and his most successful coach, Gerry Barousse, shot an 85 at St. Andrew’s, an 80 at Pinehurst, and the lowest ever tournament score in the history of blind golf with rounds of 75, 74, 79, 75 in Palm Springs, California. They also set the lowest ever nine-hole tournament score with an even par 36 on the back nine of the USBGA National Championship in North Carolina. In 1990, Pat and Gerry played a nine-hole exhibition match with the late Payne Stewart who played blind-folded and with the assistance of a coach. Stewart shot 62, while Browne shot 42; and Stewart was quoted as saying “If I practiced every day I could not beat Pat Browne”.

Rather than focus on his countless and truly unbelievable accomplishments in life and on the golf course, Pat used his success as a vehicle to help motivate and inspire others to never give up, regardless of any physical or emotional setbacks. It is this strong, selfless, persistent determination to turn a negative personal situation into a positive outcome for others that made his friends and family most proud.

Pat was married to his beloved and devoted wife, Sharon “Sherry” S. Browne for 38 years. He was predeceased by his parents; Dorothy and Pat W. Browne, Sr. He is survived by his four children and their spouses; Katherine B. Stine (Charlie), Shannon B. Rainey (David), Gay B. Hardy (Bill) and Patrick W. Browne III (Joanie). Pat is also survived by his nine grandchildren: Christopher Stine (Katherine), Katherine Stine, Davis Rainey, Leslie Rainey, Dylan Rainey, Hillary Hardy, Emily Hardy, Patrick Browne IV and Parkerson Browne. Pat is also survived by his numerous dedicated caregivers.

Pat was a member of the New Orleans Country Club, the Louisiana Club, the Boston Club, the Stratford Club, the Pickwick Club, the Recess Club, the Lakeshore Club, Royal County Down Golf Club, the United States Blind Golf Association and numerous other clubs and carnival organizations in the New Orleans area.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Pat’s two treasured charitable causes; WRBH Radio for the Blind and Print Handicapped, or Guiding Eyes for the Blind.

The family invites friends to celebrate his life by attending the Funeral Mass at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, 6367 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118 on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 12:00 PM. Visitation will begin at 10:00 AM until noon. Interment will be held privately afterwards.

To view and sign the family guestbook, please visit .