Brother David Boone of Rock Hill, among the most influential civil rights fighters in Rock Hill history, died Sunday after a long battle with cancer. Boone was 84. “We have lost a soldier for equality. David Boone was a great man,” said David Williamson Jr., one of the Friendship Nine civil rights protesters from the early 1960s, who is a life-long friend of Boone. Boone spent more than six decades fighting for racial equality and helping the poor. He had been bedridden for months since stopping cancer treatments. Boone had served at St. Mary Catholic Church in Rock Hill since the late 1950s, and even after his retirement a few years ago. He came to The Oratory, the Catholic group that oversees area Catholic parishes, as a teenager and spent his life pushing for equality. Never miss a local story. Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access. SUBSCRIBE NOW Boone was a Catholic brother. He grew up in Kentucky, but joined the religious life as a teen. He opted to keep his vows as a brother, rather than become a priest. However, like Catholic priests, Boone took vows of chastity, poverty and service. He never married and had no children. He came to Rock Hill in the late 1950s, and stayed here the rest of his life. He worked with priests and other clerics to assist the community. His job for decades was church administrator at St. Mary, which was created after World War II to serve black Catholics in Rock Hill. Boone tried to always give credit to others, and shunned the spotlight. In his last interview, in early June, Boone said of his life’s work: “I have no regrets, not one, except this: I wish I could have done more.” Rock Hill Mayor Doug Echols said his heart was heavy Monday when he was told by city officials that Boone had died. “Brother David Boone was a great humanitarian, and this entire city, this whole community, mourns his death,” Echols said. “This is a man whose life was spent seeking racial justice, racial equality and racial harmony. His effect on this community will be remembered forever.” Echols said it is up to the rest of the community to continue Boone’s legacy. “Brother David lived his life with courage and