Longtime reporter Pat McCoy dies of cancer at 65

Note: This obituary first appeared in the Idaho Statesman on June 5.

Patricia Rae McCoy Rohleder, 65, peacefully died in her sleep on Friday, June 1, 2012 of complications due to cancer.

Pat was born June 3, 1946, in Boise, to Stanley Eugene and Edna L. Chaffin McCoy. She was the fourth of six children.

As a cleft palate baby, she became acquainted with many doctors and nurses throughout her life. One vivid memory was how excited the family became when she learned to whistle at age 7, something the doctors had told her parents she would never be able to do.

Her speech was very clear, and she was also gifted with a moderately good singing voice that frequently got her invited to participate in different choirs. Both were accomplishments the doctors said would be major limitations.

Pat earned a bachelor’s degree in newspaper journalism and international relations from Brigham Young University. She enjoyed a 40-year career as a newspaper reporter and became well acquainted with many in Utah, Texas, Idaho, and Oregon.

Always known as Pat McCoy professionally, she worked closely with the agricultural community for the last 25 years of her career. She had a deep respect for those who produce this nation’s food and fiber.

She received several awards that included three Conservation Writer of the Year honors from the Idaho Association of Soil Conservation Districts; two media awards from the Idaho Grain Producers Association, and one for outstanding reporting of agriculture from the Idaho Farm Bureau.

Three highlights of her career were compiling and self-publishing a history of Shelby County, Texas, in 1982 following a series of feature articles she had written on that county’s colorful past; an honorary life membership received in 2009 from the Owyhee Cattlemens Association; and a special award for dedication and service to Idaho’s agricultural industry received at the A. Larry Branen Idaho Ag Summit in February, 2010.

She was an accomplished seamstress, making many of her own clothes. She also enjoyed many needle arts, and became particularly adept at making bobbin lace, an Elizabethan craft she demonstrated at the annual Museum Comes to Life event at the Idaho Sate Historical Museum for many years.

She was also an accomplished pianist, and used her talents to contribute to many church activities. Pat was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and an avid genealogist.

She married Erwin Ralph Rohleder in the Boise LDS Temple on June 17, 2000, and enjoyed his companionship greatly in the closing years of her life. Her survives her, along with five stepchildren, 10 grandchildren, two sisters, two brothers, and numerous much-loved nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father, her brother Dan, and a stepson, Brent Rohleder.

Funeral services were held at the LDS chapel located at 1111 S. Cole Rd. in Boise on June 7, followed by interment at Dry Creek Cemetery.