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B-N Labor Leader, Activist Dies At 82

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Courtesy: Mike Matejka
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Ronn Morehead, a Bloomington-Normal labor leader, with then-Senate candidate Barack Obama in 2004. Morehead passed away Saturday at age 82.

A McLean County labor leader and community activist has died. Ronald “Ronn” Morehead, 82, passed away Saturday morning.

Morehead served as president of the Bloomington and Normal Trades and Labor Assembly since 1981. He organized the Twin Cities’ Labor Day Parade for nearly 45 years.

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Courtesy: Mike Matejka
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Ronn Morehead served as president of the Bloomington and Normal Trades & Labor Assembly for 40 years.

Morehead grew up working in his father’s tavern and later launched his own career as a construction laborer. He was recruited for the Illinois AFL-CIO Member Assistance Program, where he assisted workers during plant closings and layoffs and crafted training opportunities for job retention.

Morehead was passionate about youth employment opportunities. For many years, he supervised the Summer Youth Employment Program across four counties. Morehead also designed “Introduction to the Trades” classes to bring more people into the profession.

A member of Laborers Local 362 for more than 50 years, Morehead served as the local’s secretary and president. Morehead also was the business manager for Bartenders Local 245.

Morehead spent much of his own time volunteering. He was involved in forming the Illinois Special Olympics and served on the board for six years. He also spent time on the boards of Mid-Central Community Action, the McLean County Chamber of Commerce, the Bloomington-Normal Convention and Visitors Bureau and Heartland Community College, among many others.

Morehead and his wife, Mollie Fritsch, ran Mollie’s restaurant in LeRoy throughout the 1980s. An avid glassware collector, Morehead also owned the antique store M&M Sales in Normal.

He also was politically active, serving as a Democratic Party precinct committeeperson.

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