Court of Appeals
W. Patrick Donlin
District III (1978-1981)
W. Patrick Donlin served in District III from 1978 until 1981, when he resigned to become supreme advocate (general counsel) of the Knights of Columbus at its headquarters in New Haven, Connecticut. He was still in that post when he died unexpectedly on February 3, 1996, at the age of fifty-eight.
As supreme advocate, Donlin headed the Knights of Columbus legal department and handled legal matters involving the order's insurance program, as well as its fraternal operations, throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, and Latin America.
Donlin had been active in the Knights of Columbus in Wisconsin, having joined the order at Father Otto Weber Council 2369, Park Falls, in 1965 and subsequently serving two terms as grand knight of that council. In 1985 Pope John Paul II named him Knight of St. Gregory the Great. Also active in the affairs of the National Fraternal Congress of America, Donlin was elected its president in 1990.
Born in Madison, Donlin attended St. Mary's College in Winona, Minnesota, and earned his law degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1961. He was in private practice, became district attorney of Price County, and was a trial court judge before his election to the Court of Appeals.
An obituary notice listed as Donlin's survivors his wife, Nancy; his mother, Dorothy Brandy Donlin, two brothers, two sons, two daughters and four grandchildren.