2018 Vacation in Bonita Beach, FL
Frater Pat Farley was a freshman at Wisconsin State University-Platteville (now UW-Platteville) in the fall of 1966. He pledged Phi Delta Chi during the fall semester of his sophomore year in 1967. Pat moved into the 1st floor of Melchert Hall during that same semester and the rest is history.
When and how did you get involved with Phi Delta Chi?
I met fellow students in class and several of those friends were pledging Phi Delta Chi during the second semester of my freshman year (Spring 1967). One of them was Randy Owens of Oregon, WI and another was Dick Crain of Rowley, IA. Both left Platteville before we joined TKE.
Fraters at Swan Farms: back row Mike Peplinski, Russ Josh, Mike Hilgers, Chip Campbell, Terry Sula, Ken Swan and George Olson; front row Clay Belongia and Pat Farley
I watched the students coming and going from Melchert Hall and spent a lot of time with them and met other pledges as well as actives of Phi Delta Chi. A lot of the actives lived in Melchert Hall, 1st floor east. They used to walk together from the dorm to the Student Center (now Ullsvik Hall) for the evening meal. Carl Gatlin (center on the WSUP basketball team) was the Resident Assistant at 1st Floor Melchert east and an active. Another basketball player was Donald (Chip) Campbell, also an active. One of the pledges that I got to know, Greg Jencen, became one of my best friends. At any rate, I really enjoyed being involved with these pledges and actives of Phi Delta Chi because they were a great group of people. In fact, I wished I had been part of that pledge class. I did not know about the fraternity in time to be part of that pledge class so I pledged the 1st semester of my sophomore year (Fall 1967). Because I knew so many of the members and because we had a mutual respect and understanding it was no problem being offered a bid to join.
Were you involved with the process to become a TKE chapter?
Yes, I was deeply involved. George Olson and probably Tom Metcalf and John Grohowski did a lot of early work. Greg Jencen did an incredible amount of work to put together the petition booklet and get us up-to-speed. Greg was Prytanis when we joined TKE. A good many of the rest of us worked and supported any way we could. It was a team effort. As with any organization, some folks did more work than others. There are always various reasons for that but it happens in all organizations.
What was it like for the group when the charter was granted? I believe it was May 17, 1969 correct?
It seemed to me that the founders of Phi Delta Chi and the members prior to me (and I was only a couple of pledge classes into the chapter) always had the intent to join a national fraternity. As you can imagine, that created a certain amount of controversy at meetings prior to our decision to join TKE. It even continued after we made that commitment. Many fraters questioned the need to join any other organization . As I mentioned in my previous correspondence, in any organization only a certain percentage does the work. Some go along for the ride and others show up for pictures and glory. So, it was a struggle for us to build our chapter up to the point that we were worthy to become part of a national fraternity. We had all we could do to get to 47 members.
I mentioned in my previous correspondence that Greg Jencen was Prytanis when we were installed. Greg ran against George Olson for Prytanis in that prior election. I believe that George would have done a fine job as Prytanis, but I firmly believe Greg was the right person at the right time. Greg was tireless in his commitment. We were living in our first house, which we rented from Glen Bestor for $8,000.00 (exorbitant even by today’s standards) and Paul Frank, Clay Belongia, Greg Jencen, and yours truly shared a bedroom with two bunk beds on the 3rd floor of the house. I vividly remember Greg personally typing the pages to the yellow booklet we submitted to TKE to become Phi Delta Chi affiliate of Tau Kappa Epsilon in the study area just outside that bedroom. And, when we were accepted by TKE and leading up to the installation, Greg along with a strong nucleus of fraters spent great effort to get it done.
I also mentioned that I was part of the Board of Trustees that had to sell the first house that we actually owned. That was gut wrenching considering we had been on such a high in 1969 with the installation to TKE and then five years later (1974 as best I recall) had to sell the house because the chapter had fallen on hard times and only had 4 members.
So, you ask about the feeling when we were installed. It was euphoria. We were on cloud nine. I don’t know that we really realized the full significance of being part of something much bigger than a small chapter on a small campus at a small university. But, we had embarked on a grand journey that is now 50 years into it
So, we become affiliated with TKE in 1969 as Mu Nu. What roles did you serve after graduation?
After graduating in 1970, and before I got too many irons in the fire in the Milwaukee area, I got back to Platteville fairly often. The fraternity was my social interest so that is where I went. I participated with the Chapter and with as many of the alumni as I could. We eventually formed the Alumni Association and I was involved in helping form that group as well as being on the Board of Trustees for the Chapter.
When we were making plans to become part of TKE we had to have a Board of Trustees as part of our Articles of Incorporation. Those board members were from Platteville. They were Lyle Benedict - owner of an insurance agency in town and a TKE from Beloit College, class of 1921 (albiet many years prior as he was getting up in years), Donald Fitzgerald - Platteville City Attorney (and a personal friend of mine whose father owned the farm across from my father’s farm in northeast Iowa, who agreed to serve when I recommended to the fraters that we ask him to participate), William Ruechel - banker in Platteville, Howard Metcalf - father of Frater Tom Metcalf and Director of Food Services at WSU-P, and Dr. Robert Sporre - University professor and our Chapter Advisor. They were our Board when we purchased our first house at 160 North Hickory Street as well as when we were preparing to join TKE (the Articles of Incorporation required a Board and the corporation was named Phi Delta Chi Housing Corporation). We were able to purchase that house because Howard Metcalf and Lyle Benedict each lent us $5,000.00 for the down payment.
Fraters Ken Swan, Pat Farley, Russ Josh and Mike Hilgers at Lake Lawn Lodge in Delavan in 2018
Our first Board of Trustees after the original board consisted of Mu Nu fraters: George Albanese, James Fassbender, and myself as Trustees, Thomas Wurtz as Chapter Advisor, and Larry Offerman as Prytanis, Mu Nu Chapter. Our first meeting was on February 15, 1982 at Jim Stellner’s house in Madison, WI. I have meeting minutes through the 17th meeting of the Board of Trustees, which was held on January 5, 1987. I was Board Chairman at that time and in attendance were Jerry Schewe - Chapter Advisor, Jim Fassbender - Counsel, Steve Sesterhenn - Trustee, Pat Kelley - Trustee, and Bill Johnson - Trustee.
I have the initial meeting minutes when we started the Phi Delta Chi Alumni Association. The meeting was held on November 17, 1973. Tom Metcalf was President, Pat Farley was Vice-President, Dennis Genthe and Jerry Ray were Co-Secretaries, and Dick Josh was Treasurer. That first meeting had in attendance: Tom Metcalf, Pat Farley, Dick Josh, Dennis Genthe, John Cramer, Dave Matthusen, Steve Sesterhenn, George Albanese - MuNu Prytanis, and Chuck Rudd - Mu Nu Vice-President. I also have Volume 1, No. 2, December 16, 1973, Phi Delta Chi Housing Corporation Report and Alumni News minutes. Tom Metcalf was President, Pat Farley was Vice-President, Dennis Genthe was Secretary, and Jerry Ray and Steve Sesterhenn were members of that board.
I also have the minutes of the July 12, 1986 Alumni Association Mu Nu Chapter of TKE. In attendance were: Bill Denkert, Gene Dieraur, Kraig Holub, Tom Howes, Pat Kelley, Dale Kivi, Larry Offerman, Wayne Powers, Steve Sesterhenn, Jerry Schewe, Mike Snodgrass, Jim Stellner, and Pat Farley.
As of April 30, 1983 the name of the corporation, Phi Delta Chi Affiliate of Tau Kappa Epsilon, was changed to Mu Nu Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon, Inc.. I have a copy of the Board Meeting from April 30, 1983 showing this change. At that time Pat Kelley, Jim Stellner, and Pat Farley were Board members, Dave Bullis was Chapter Advisor, Jim Bull was Faculty Advisor, and Rick Riemer was Chapter Prytanis.
I recall that Jerry Schewe was the driving force to accomplish us becoming Mu Nu Alumni Association of TKE, with assistance of the TKE national office. A number of us were involved but I don’t recall who or the what extent. I do have the Mu Nu Alumni Association newsletters from February 1986 though Spring 2002. The 25th Anniversary of Mu Nu Chapter of TKE history shows that 1979-80 is when we became more serious about our Alumni Association and we voted unanimously on October 18, 1980 to obtain charter status with TKE and the charter was recognized and given a vote at Conclave, in a March 30, 1981 letter from Grand Prytanis Rodney Williams, Jr
Frater Pat with Debra Usinger and Chuck Connor, Deputy Undersecretary of Agriculture and his Executive Assistant at Usinger Sausage
In your response to the 50th anniversary survey, you indicated that you worked for the US Department of Agriculture as a Consumer Safety Inspector. What did that position entail?
The USDA job was a food inspector position. At that time, all of the field jobs were at the slaughter floor, including veterinarians (they were supervisory and made final disposition on whole carcasses). The food inspectors could condemn parts of red meat animals and whole poultry birds. By federal law, all animals must be inspected at the time of slaugher for disease. If products are to cross state lines, or be exported out of the US, they must receive USDA inspection. This includes all meat animals or product thereof. If states have an inspection program (roughly half of the 50 states do) plants can receive state inspection but the animals (and further processed products cannot cross state lines (there a a few exceptions that have been approved in the past 10 years).
For information, USDA, Food Safety and Inspection Service provides its own training. It starts with on the job training with another inspector and then classroom training for specific disciplines. I had 3 weeks of poultry training school in Gainesville, GA in 1972 but never received the red meat training school (only on-the-job). I received numerous processing training courses through the years at Fort Worth, TX, at Texas A & M, in Madison, WI, and Chicago, IL
Pat with a fellow USDA employee at the 2010 Chicago Marathon
All of the meat and poultry products you see at the store are the products produced at some processing plant. Examples are: sausage, pizza, ham, pork chops, bacon, etc. USDA processing inspectors became Consumer Safety Inspectors. We were responsible for assuring the consuming public of a wholesome, properly labeled meat and poultry product. Sanitation is a key ingredient of both the products and plants.
I worked my whole career in the Milwaukee, WI area. I was assigned to inspect plants in northern Illinois as well as Sheboygan, WI and Jefferson, WI when our Circuit was quite large. But, I was always assigned to the Milwaukee metro area. My last assignment (from 1992-2013) included Usinger Sausage, Palermo Pizza and Midwest Refrigerated Service (export of products to foreign countries). Through the years I dealt with all types of meat and poultry products. By federal law each plant must be inspected at least once per day. There was never a time that I was not able to visit at least once, sometimes multiple times. And, the visits were random and unannounced, although the plants certainly knew they would be visited and inspected. Through the years inspection became more scientific. That also included use of laptop computers to record task results with submission to Washington, DC so upper level management had a finger on the pulse.
I spend my whole career in USDA in the field. I had opportunities to move further up the ladder. I am pleased that I did not. Inspection gets done at the plant level and I am a hands on person so it worked well for me. I had opportunities to move into our personnel office or into supervision. I am glad that I did not pursue those avenues. I believe either route would have me ending up in Washington, DC. That would not have been to my liking.
You probably are wondering what my major was at UW-P (then WSU-P). I had an Animal Science major and an Animal Science minor. My diploma states Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture. I was educated to farm and raise animals, not slaughter and process them. Oh well, close enough!
Frater Pat with both of his daughters, Megan and Erin at the Bunny Run in Chicago
You mentioned irons in the fire you had in Milwaukee. I saw that you have completed many race events. When did you start running?
I have been a runner for many years. I did not run in high school because I went to a small Catholic school with basketball and baseball for boys and cheer leading for girls. I did not get very serious about running until I started entering charitable runs, probably in my late 20’s. It was fun and I was supporting some good causes. I ran a lot of 5K, 5 mile, 10 mile, and 15K runs through the years.
I had no intention of running a half or full marathon. I wasn’t even sure if I could run that far. My oldest daughter, Megan, was a swimmer and soccer player at Wauwatosa East High School and the younger one, Erin, was a track and cross country runner. The younger daughter even finished #30 at the Wisconsin cross country state meet as a junior and earned Honorable Mention in the state. She led her team her last three years of high school and the team did well in the Milwaukee Metro Conference. The track team was not as successful but she did go to state on the 4x800 team a couple of years. She ran track for 1 year and cross country for 4 years at UW-LaCrosse. The older daughter attended UW-Madison and ran daily for at least an hour just for stress relief from her Pharmacy studies. She ran a half marathon in Madison and then the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon in 2005. She was thinking about running the Chicago Marathon in 2006, but did not due to injury.
When she expressed an interest in running in Chicago I thought it would be neat to run with her. Even though she decided not to run I thought I would give it a try. I did not know if I could run that far so bought a Marathon Running book by Hal Higdon (an editor of Runners World Magazine for many years), looked over his 18 week training program, and proceeded to train enough to run 20 miles, which was the longest distance of his training program. I did that in about 3 weeks and figured I could give Chicago a go.
Frater Pat and his daughter Erin at the CrazyLegs run in Madison
I have a sister living in Chicago so I had a place to stay and it is close enough for my family to attend. I just wanted to finish. A high school friend ran a marathon at least 10 years before I ran mine and I asked him at the time why he ran a marathon. He said it was something he thought he should do once in his lifetime. So, I just wanted to give it a shot with no intention of doing more than one.
Well, I had the time of my life running the streets of Chicago on October 22, 2006. It was 42 degrees F and perfect for me. I had heard of the runners high where you are feeling so good that you think you can run forever. I had never felt that way but I did that day. It has not happened since. In the back of my mind (real deep) I wanted to run more marathons and even qualify for Boston (pipe dream). I ran a 3 hour, 52 min, 14 second time in Chicago and got the bug. I finished the marathon but did not think I qualified for Boston. I was 58 and the qualifying time was 3:45 at that age. I could not apply for 2007 in Boston. However, I did not know just how Boston worked. An employee at Palermo Pizza (one of the plants I inspected at) kept pestering me to apply for an exception because my time was close. I did not agree but did e-mail them. l was informed that my time was not close enough for 2007 but that I was already qualified for 2008. The reason is because it’s not how old you are when run your qualifying marathon but how old you are when you run in Boston (providing you are within their time frame of about 15 months). The time for a 60 year old male is 4:00 hours and I ran the 112th Boston Marathon on April 21, 2008. I had turned 60 on April 20. What an experience. My time was 4:12. I will never forget running by Wellesley College, an all women’s college, and hearing a high pitched scream the whole time I ran by their campus. It felt like I was walking on a cloud. I will also never forget getting to mile 20 and hitting Heartbreak Hill, which is a hill about 1 mile long, and steep. Brutal!! I somehow made it.
Frater Pat and his wife Diane at the PNC Milwaukee Run
Because I got the marathon bug and initially thought I did not qualify in 2006, I ran in Chicago in 2007. My older daughter, Megan, joined me. It was rough because the temperature got up to 87 degrees F. One man died and over 300 people ended up in the hospital overnight. They even ran out of water at some stations. We both walked about half the route and my daughter finished ahead of me. They cancelled the race but I turned the corner onto Roosevelt from Michigan Avenue just as the police closed the street. I finished.
I really like running in Chicago, because they have 45,000 runners and 1 1/2-2 million spectators, all yelling encouragement at the top of their lungs, so I ran there in 2010 (with a group of USDA, FSIS employees from around the country) and again in 2013. Running through all the different parts of the city is exhilarating. I had run 6 half marathons during this time span as well. One was in Madison and the rest in the Milwaukee area (Summerfest, Brewers, Milwaukee). I think I am done with half and full marathons. The training as well as the marathon are grueling. I have joked that I may run in Chicago when I turn 75 but when I am out running my usual 3 1/2 mile runs I feel otherwise.
Pat's Irish heritage per Ancestry.com as of 2018
I also read that you are involved with Ancestry.com. I have been contemplating the DNA saliva test. How long have you been delving into your family history?
I have always been interested in my roots. I lost my mother to an accident when I was 14. I knew some of her family history but if she would have lived to a ripe old age I could have found out much more. My dad could not tell me much. He always said they never passed the information along to him. I don’t know if that was true or just selective memory.
Frater Pat and Diane Farley at Wandering Waves Resort in Shawano, WI
My wife knew I would get a great deal out of Ancestry.com so she gave me a 6 month membership this past Christmas. I started the day after Christmas and went hog wild. Initially I spent about 3 hours per day entering data. I was able to track both sides of my family and found people I did not know existed. I was astounded that all of those official documents were available. There were Census records, birth records, death records, marriage records, etc. My older daughter extended my subscription for another 6 months as a Father’s Day gift.
Natural spring on Pat's home farm in Waukon, IA
Well house on Pat's home farm in Waukon, IA
Within 2 weeks of Christmas I ordered the DNA kit. When I got the results it confirmed my Irish ancestry. They initially said I was 97% Irish. The DNA does not change but the science keeps improving and about two months ago they updated me to 100% Ireland/Scotland. The part that is most exciting is that they show the people you are related to based on comparable DNA results. I have been contacted by several relatives and I have contacted a couple. It is very exciting to find relatives you did not know existed and then have the opportunity to contact and communicate with them and compare notes.
Frater Pat in Puerto Vallarta, MX with WKLH radio in Milwaukee
At Swan Farms in Franksville, WI
Pat with his sisters in Los Angeles for the Van Morrison concert in 2018
Pat with his family and friends at the 2018 Wisconsin State Fair
Frater Pat with his granddaughters Tierney and Finleigh at Irish Fest 2018 in Milwaukee during his cart driving shift
- Lake or ocean? Lake
- Run or walk? I do both equally.
- Thanksgiving or Christmas? Both, equally
- Car or truck? Truck
- Beef or chicken? Beef
- Movie or concert? Concert