Patrick Haggerty in Bremerton, Washington on August 13, 2022. By Bella Gonzalez for StoryCorps.

We mourn the loss of Patrick Haggerty, the trailblazing musician, activist, and past StoryCorps participant, who died last week at the age of 78. 

Patrick first recorded with StoryCorps in 2014 with his daughter Robin and recounted how he came to accept that he was gay with the firm, loving counsel of his father Charles Haggerty. The radio broadcast of Patrick’s story was later brought to life via the animation “The Saint of Dry Creek,” which was screened in the 2016 Sundance festival. This animation was among 72 selected short films out of 8,700 submissions in the 2016 Sundance festival. 

Everyone at StoryCorps who got to know Patrick was moved by his lively, witty, big-hearted spirit. While he was a star in our eyes, Patrick was a humble person, more likely to shine light on people he admired than himself. When “The Saint of Dry Creek” was released, Patrick was most happy to see his father recognized, saying, “My entire HUGE family is over the moon and just so damn proud of our dad. He deserves this honor. He really and truly does.” 

Patrick’s father had a huge influence on his life, and as he grew into adulthood he was surrounded by friends who became like family. One of these friends was Faygele ben Miriam. In recent months, Patrick returned to StoryCorps with his dear friend Ronni Galboa, to tell the story of their friend Faygele, who Patrick remembered as a “power to be reckoned with.” This last recording gave us a window into where Patrick’s path led him. He became an icon in the history of out and proud gay musicians and led a life filled with deeply rooted friendships and boisterous acts of protest.

We are honored to have been able to amplify and share Patrick’s story. Join us in remembering Patrick and the joy and wisdom he brought through his storytelling.