Patrick Daly Memorial Scholarship

Patrick Daly Memorial Scholarship

Long-time Dearborn resident Patrick Daly was born in 1931 in Brooklyn, New York, to working-class parents who emigrated from Scotland. Pat once described them as pro-labor, pro-union, and strong believers in the democratic process and helping those less fortunate. Despite their lack of formal schooling, they were also strong believers in the transformative value of education.

These traits ran strong in Pat. He was the first in his family to finish high school and the first to go on to college, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English language and literature from the University of Michigan in the 1950s. During that time, he also served proudly as a corporal in the U.S. Army—a reflection of his strong sense of duty.

Pat went on to become a devoted teacher of English and other subjects at Edsel Ford High School in Dearborn for nearly 30 years. During his teaching career, he also held a series of leadership roles with the American Federation of Teachers, where he helped to advance the teaching profession and further the cause of civil rights in education. Considering his closely intertwined careers as a teacher and a union leader, Pat said that “doing the work I loved to do and was good at as a teacher, combined with working in a union that was correcting injustices and winning things that I thought teachers should have . . . these made for a very full and all-consuming life.”

Pat was active in philanthropy and his generosity of time, talent and treasure benefited many causes and organizations over the years. He took particular pride in helping to establish a scholarship fund in support of young people who worked at his assisted living facility—many of them economically challenged children of refugees—who were intent on joining a trade school or pursuing a college degree. Pat also drew great joy from his work tutoring young children from refugee and immigrant families in Detroit’s underserved communities.

Of all Pat’s passions, pursuits and joys and everything that gave him a sense of pride and fulfilment, the greatest of these was the abiding love he shared with Martin Holtgrieve, his life partner of 57 years. They were rarely apart until Martin’s passing in 2010.

Pat passed away peacefully in 2022 at the age of 91 after a series of brief illnesses. He is lovingly remembered by his friends and family for living life on his own terms and enriching and brightening the lives of all who knew him. In his final days, Pat talked of having an overwhelming sense of gratitude. He said simply and often: “I have had a wonderful life.”