I have just learned that our dear friend Tinker Harvey passed away this morning. When I visited her on Friday, I thought she would be around quite a while longer. She was very engaged in the conversation and interested in the photos that Chris brought for her to look at.
Kathryn “Tinker” Harvey, a life-long Democrat, has been committed to the Democratic Party in DuPage County for over 40 years. Along with other dedicated individuals, she has served the Democratic Party admirably, as a trailblazer, party-builder, and defender of the rights of Democratic voters.
Her accomplishments as a Democrat in DuPage County include:
Precinct Committeeman for over 40 years
Vice Chair of the Downers Grove Township Democratic Organization
Chair of the Downers Grove Township Democratic Organization
Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of DuPage County
Chair of the Democratic Party of DuPage County
Member of the Board for Illinois Democratic Women
Founding Member and Senior Political Advisor of Democratic Women of DuPage County
Democratic State Central Committeewoman
Two time Elector in the Electoral College
Delegate to 5 National Democratic Conventions
Without the aid of computer databases, web pages, emails, instant messaging, and cell phones, Tinker actively recruited and nurtured a community of Democratic volunteers in a township and county where they were historically a demographic minority. Despite the underrepresentation of Democrats in DuPage County, the importance of this voting block to electing statewide candidates has been recognized for many years. While Tinker’s role in providing leadership toward generating votes and funding for statewide campaigns, her participation has always been graceful and without expectation of reciprocity. Among the unsung sagas of her career occurred during the 1968 Democratic convention when the DuPage Democrats played a pivotal role in getting convention delegates out of Chicago by enlisting teenagers to drive them to destinations outside of Illinois.
Through her involvement in Democratic politics, Kathryn “Tinker” Harvey has touched many lives and mentored many precinct committeemen and candidates. Whether she was communicating with an Illinois Senator or a visitor to a township meeting, she was first and foremost a Democratic role model, a trailblazer and pioneer for Democratic politics in DuPage County.
We will miss Tinker. Details of the memorial service and a more complete history will follow.