Published 12:00 am Friday, August 15, 2008


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – He was the boy with a contagious smile who never shied away from a conversation, and was always good for a laugh.

That is how friends and family remembered Patrick Timothy McTopy Jr. as they filed into St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in LaPlace to pay their last respects to a boy who died too young.

McTopy, 23, along with friends Chance Millet, 25, Joshua McNulty, 20, Ken Horzelski, 22, Stanley Borne Jr., 22, and Brandon Prudhomme, 21, was onboard a 20-foot runabout boat when it collided with a 30-foot cabin cruiser Saturday evening in Blind River. Prudhomme was the only survivor of the fatal wreck.

The funeral services, which took place Wednesday morning, attracted scores of St. John residents, including many high profile members of government who work closely with Mctopy’s father and namesake, Pat McTopy Sr., chief administrative officer for the parish.

“It’s been a tough week for everyone in the community,” said former Parish President and current State Representative Nickie Monica. “We all have a lot of healing to do.”

Even with the somber mood of the morning, which was complemented by dreary overcast skies, those in attendance seemed to lighten up a little bit as they reminisced about McTopy.

“He was a good person,” said friend Natalie Miller. “He never had anything bad to say about anyone. His friends and his family were his life.”

Mark Murphy, another close friend who basically grew up with McTopy, said he never recalled a moment where McTopy wasn’t wearing his trademark smile.

“He would really do anything for you,” said Murphy. “He was a good guy to be around.”

One person who saw him almost everyday was close friend Jenna Schexnayder, who said he would always spend time relaxing at the daiquiri shop she worked at.

“I saw him at least three times a week,” said Schexnayder. “He was definitely the kind of person who would do anything for anybody.”

McTopy was also remembered as a real party person who was always looking for a good time.

“He always seemed to be the life of the party wherever he went,” said Ashley Chenier. “Always fun-loving, all the time.”

“He was just a full of life guy, always having a good time,” added another friend, Chase Fletcher. “It’s just sad that he and the others had to go so young. He had a lot to look forward to. If you needed anything, he was there. He’d even go as far as giving you a few dollars if you needed it.”

Although he was enrolled in classes at Louisiana Technical College in Reserve, most of McTopy’s friends recall the excitement he felt about working with his father to help maintain properties in the parish that the elder McTopy owns.

“I know how much he was looking forward to taking it over,” said Murphy.

Beverly Louque, McTopy’s pre-school teacher at St. Joan of Arc, said in the years between pre-school and college, McTopy’s personality hadn’t changed a bit.

“He was funny, comical, always good for a laugh when he was in my class,” said Louque. “We were in temporary trailer buildings at that time. We used to say it was like going to school in Little House on the Prairie.”

Following the funeral, McTopy was laid to rest at St. Peter Cemetery in Reserve.

McTopy lived most of his life in LaPlace, and was a graduate of St. Charles Catholic High School.