Patricia Jane Horrigan
Patricia Jane Horrigan, a teacher in the Trumbull Schools for 23 years up until her retirement in 1992, passed away on October 18, 2012 in Ithaca NY.
Patricia was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 12, 1928 and was the daughter of James and Frances (aka 'Mac') Hurley.
Throughout her childhood she lived with her family in the Midwest settling in 1940 in Greensburg, PA and attending Seton Hill Academy. She went on to graduate, in 1950, from Pittsburgh's Duquesne University with a BA degree in journalism and psychology.
In August of that year she married her Duquesne sweetheart Jack Horrigan and moved to New York City where she worked for three years as a social worker with foster care children and families through New York Foundling while Jack attended grad school at Fordham University.
Her job took her to the streets of New York where she would forever feel at home. New York's social and cultural vitality made its mark on Pat who spent the next half century of life immersed in music, art, poetry, literature, Great Books, theatre, travel, and learning at every turn.
Pat and Jack would move to Westport, Connecticut in 1961 to raise their three children and reside for the next 41 years. In Westport Pat immediately became active in the League of Women Voters and developed lifelong friendships with other women like herself committed to fostering informed and active participation in their communities and democratic life.
She celebrated when her LWV peer Jackie Heneage was elected as Westport's first female First Selectman in 1973 and went on to campaign enthusiastically for Diane Farrell's election to the same position in 1997. Into the 1990's, following her retirement, Pat was still busy working with the League as part of its Observer Corps.
Pat returned to graduate school in the late 1960's and completed her Master of Education degree at Bridgeport University. Then, in 1968, at the age of 40, she began a 23-year teaching career in the Trumbull, Connecticut Pubic Schools teaching 3rd grade at Center School and 6th grade Social Studies at Daniels Farms.
Throughout her life Pat remained eager to learn and expand herself and took courses, traveled extensively and remained constantly engaged in the unfolding developments, careers and lives of her three children. New York City remained her cultural Mecca and the place to which she constantly returned for intellectual and cultural nourishment. Burying Hill, Compo and Old Mill beaches, Westport Library, Rippie's Farm, Remarkable Bookstore, Main Street, Oscar's, Gold's, Klein's, Unitarian Church, Devils Den, Aspetuck Land Trust, Yale Rep, Bridgeport Symphony, Friends of Music, Levitt Pavilion– and saving Nyala Farms, Cockenoe Island and the Baron's Property–all these were part of Pat's 41 memorable years in Westport.
In 2002, Pat and Jack moved to Ithaca, NY to be closer to their daughters and spent several happy years living in Cayuga Heights and enjoying all the Finger Lakes had to offer.
Pat's outgoing and sociable way coupled with her energy and enthusiasm for new ideas, experiences and interactions made her someone to whom others were drawn. Even in her final years, after chronic pain and dementia took hold, those who met her marveled at her outgoing way, her smile and her eagerness to listen, engage and connect to others.
Predeceased by her father (1959), mother (1981), husband Jack of 58 years (2008), beloved sister Maureen Melino (2011), sister-in-law Lorraine Bielski (2004) and brother-in-law Bob Horrigan (2012), Pat leaves her son Jack Horrigan (Raspati) of Westport CT, and daughters Paula Horrigan (Scott Sears) of Trumansburg, NY and Alice Horrigan of Fairfield, CT; Grandchildren, Savitri and Krishna Horrigan (Jack and Raspati), Madeline Horrigan (Alice), Mariah Fogarty-Sears (Scott and Paula) and one great grandchild, Kiri Briana (Mariah). She leaves behind her brother-in-law Ronald Melino of Westport, CT and several nieces and nephews and their families including Steven Melino (San Francisco, CA), Jim Melino, (Walnut Creek, CA), Frances Zahler, (Reno, NV) and Barbara Deecken (Westport, CT).
The family extends much love and thanks to the staff and caregivers at Bridges Cornell Heights who believed and performed the 'miracle' that made Pat's final days ones of comfort, care, kindness, friendship, dignity and humanity.
Pat will be remembered at a gathering to be held at Westport's Unitarian Church on Saturday, December 1, from 3 to 5 p.m.
Donations may be made in Pat's name to the League of Women Voters Education Fund and sent to the League of Women Voters of Westport, PO Box 285, Westport, CT 06880.
For additional information, please contact Ness-Sibley Funeral Home at 1-888-534-5446.
To send an online condolence to the family please visit www.ness-sibley.com.