Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Patrick Murfin was born in Montana on March in 1949 and grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The family left Cheyenne and relocated to Skokie, Illinois in 1966.

Patrick attended Shimer College, then in Mt. Carroll, Illinois and Columbia College in Chicago, where he studied creative writing. As a student he became involved in the anti-war movement. In the summer of 1968 Patrick was a participant in most of the major actions around the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

In1969, Patrick joined the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW.) He served the union in many positions including Editor of the Industrial Worker and, at the age of 23, General Secretary-Treasurer. With Fred W. Thompson he co-authored The IWW: Its First Seventy Years 1905-1975.

Patrick was a member of the staff of The Chicago Seed, the city’s underground paper in the early ‘70’s.

Patrick was tried, convicted, and sentenced to prison 1973 for refusing induction into the Armed Forces. He served six months.

He returned to active participation in the labor movement. He helped found the first Chicago labor support committee for the United Farm Workers, marched with Cesar Chavez, and helped organize the city’s first grape boycott. While working as a drill press operator at Dietzgen Corporation, he was elected Secretary of the Employees Association and served on the bargaining committee.

He also became involved in community organizations. He drafted the constitution and by-laws for what became the Ravenswood East Association and was active in the Logan Square Neighborhood Association where he coordinated gang awareness, graffiti removal projects and neighborhood watch programs.

He got involved in electoral politics as a volunteer for Independent Democratic aldermanic campaigns and was active in Harold Washington’s mayoral campaigns.

In 1981 Patrick married Kathy Brady-Larsen, a young widow with two daughters, Carolynne and Heather.

After the birth of daughter Maureen in 1983, the family moved to Crystal Lake in 1985. Patrick found work as a school custodian.

In the fall of 1989, Patrick became a Precinct Committeeman in the McHenry County Democratic Party and has served continuously ever since. Later, when the office of Vice Chair of the Party was left vacant by a death he was appointed to fill out the term and was elected in his own right the next year. Upon Chairman Bob McGarry’s death he served briefly as County Chair. He was elected Secretary in the 2008.

Patrick has twice before been a candidate for office. In 1997 he ran for Crystal Lake City Council and in 2002 ran for County Board District 3.

Patrick has been a long term lay leader at the Congregational Unitarian Church in Woodstock.
In 1995 Patrick helped found the Diversity Day Festival in held annually on Woodstock Square and is now its Executive Director.

He served a term on the Crystal Lake Human Relations Commission.

Patrick was among the founders of the McHenry County Peace Group, which he has served as press and public relations spokesperson.

In 2004 Skinner House Books of Boston published his poetry collection We Build Temples in the Heart.

The same year Patrick was retired as a Head Building Custodian. He is currently Communication Manager and Non-Profit Consultant for Oaktree Capital Corporation in Woodstock.

Patrick launched his blog, Heretic, Rebel, a Thing to Flout, in January of 2006.

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