Cover photo for Irene Patrick's Obituary
Irene Patrick Profile Photo

Irene Patrick

d. December 23, 2013

Irene Fay Patrick, 78, a former four-term Boone County Commissioner, died early Sunday evening, December 23 at her home in Hebron. She was the first woman elected to serve as a County Commissioner outside of Jefferson County and served as Commissioner from District 1 from 1978 to 1986 and returned to serve in the Commissioner's post from 1990 to 1999.

Prior to her service as Commissioner, Mrs. Patrick was an active leader in the Girl Scouts, PTA and the Women's Democratic Club. She played an active role in the Boone County Democratic Party in a career spanning more than four decades including service as the party's Vice-Chair.

Mrs. Patrick's involvement in politics was felt as strongly at the state level as at the local level in the early 1970's when she served in a leadership role in the successful gubernatorial campaign of former Governor and United States Senator Wendell Ford. Her support of Ford and commitment to historic preservation and the Arts landed her a post on the Kentucky Arts Council, a post she held for four years.

In 1977, Mrs. Patrick would adopt Ford's campaign theme of "A Fighter for the People", in launching her own bid for office, a theme she would use in four successful bids for office.

While serving as Commissioner, Mrs. Patrick served as a member of the Boone County Planning Commission and represented the county in a number of organizations including the Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitor's Bureau, the Maplewood Children's Home Board, the Friends of the Animal Shelter and the Telecommunications Board of Northern Kentucky.

Ever strident in her efforts to maintain a safe and clean environment, Mrs. Patrick served as Vice-Chair of the Waterways Committee of the National Association of Counties and a boat ramp was dedicated in her honor on the banks of the Ohio at Rabbit Hash.

Among her greatest accomplishments in her public life, Mrs. Patrick generally considered her advocacy of Ford's candidacy and his promise to remove the sales tax from food and medication among the top. In Boone County, she was a strong supporter of the Animal Shelter, the Children's Home, and the Senior Citizens.

Her love of seniors led Commissioner Patrick to start a Senior's Picnic, held annually at her home. During the four years Mrs. Patrick was out of office, the picnic was moved to the Boone County Fairgrounds and today boasts crowds of more than 900. This past summer, Mrs. Patrick reminisced with friends about how this had began as a potluck served off of a farm wagon on her farm in the thirty years before.

Throughout her life, Irene Patrick was known for her love of the community and devotion to her husband, Charles, himself a former Boone County Commissioner, and her daughters, Charlene Tipton of Hebron and Tracy Sam Beck of Union. In retirement, Commissioner Patrick loved spending time with her grandchildren, Marquel Tipton and David and Julie Beck and remained active in Democratic Party politics.

Recognized by the Kentucky Post as a recipient of the Women of the Year Award, this pioneer of women in politics in Northern Kentucky seldom stood on formalities and wanted people to call her by her first name. Irene Patrick was known for ending every speech with her trademark line, "my door and phone are always open if you need to talk to me. Love and God Bless."

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Irene Patrick, please visit our flower store.


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