William J. "Bill" Horrigan, late school administrator
- Deceased's name: William J. Horrigan
- Age: 83
- Date: June 13, 2012
- Hometown: Woburn
- Survived by: six daughters: Mary Ann Murphy, Ellen Hyde, Kathleen Sakati, Jane McKenna, Julie Wilkins, and Christine Davidson, and his twin sister, Ann Coakley.
William J. "Bill" Horrigan, a highly respected school administrator with the Woburn School Department, passed away at his home in Tewksbury Wednesday morning, June 13th, surrounded by his loving family. The beloved husband of the late Shirley M. (Dunn) Horrigan, he was just two days shy of his eighty-fourth birthday.
Born in Boston along with his twin sister Ann, Bill was the son of the late Patrick J. and Anna M. (Frawley) Horrigan. He was raised in West Roxbury and was a proud "triple Eagle," having graduated from BC High School in 1946, Boston College in 1950, where he served as Class President, and earning a graduate degree from BC a few years later. His enthusiasm for his alma mater continued throughout his life. He was very active in the alumni association, held membership in the Gridiron Club, and was a season ticket holder for the football games.
Bill began his teaching career at Boston College High School before coming to Woburn. He taught mathematics at Woburn High School and later became Department Head of Mathematics and Science. Many former students recall him as a favorite teacher, and were inspired to continue in the field of mathematics due to his influence. It was at Woburn High that he was fortunate enough to meet a young English teacher named Shirley Dunn. They married and made their home in Bedford before taking up residence on Woburn's West Side in 1965. Bill later became Assistant Principal of the John F. Kennedy Junior High School (later called the Kennedy Middle School) and worked with Principal Bart McDonough until he was named Principal of his beloved Kennedy Middle School.
Mr. Horrigan, as he was called formally by staff and students, was a favorite of his staff over the years and an individual who took great delight in all achievements of his students, as well as being instrumental in implementing the team teaching innovative approach (IGE Team Teaching Model) into practice at the school. He was a master in the development of science fairs at Woburn High School and the Kennedy Middle School. He was later appointed Assistant Superintendent for Business in the Woburn Public Schools.
The Assistant Superintendent, who worked alongside then-Superintendent Paul Andrews, exercised his great mathematics background, knowledge and skills, and was always working in his school budget presentations to respond to questions from officials and the public. He would always know where every document was in his office, taking great pleasure in making "the numbers come out and be perfect." As a member of the committee to construct the new Woburn Memorial High School, he was instrumental in all aspects of the project, and was honored to have his name on the dedication plaque in the foyer of the new high school.
The beloved former educator had many fraternal and educational affiliations, including the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials and numerous others, with a special place in his heart for activities at Boston College High School and Boston College, where he had a host of faculty friends over his many years.
Always loving a great laugh, Bill enjoyed hearing a good story as well as telling a few, especially about the loves of his life: his wonderful wife Shirley and their six beautiful daughters. They were all favorite sources of his strength. Other stories came from a well-known part of his life in Fenway Park. His "second career," which continued for over 68 years, was with the concession operation at Fenway Park. Starting as a vendor at the age of 14, Bill served in management positions for the Harry M. Stevens and Aramark Corporation, major national concession firms who handled all food services at Fenway Park. He became the Director of Operations in charge of the money room at Fenway, and would often travel to other major parks to instruct others on the accounting techniques he had implemented at Fenway. Following his retirement from the Woburn Public Schools he became more active with Fenway until his retirement after the 2010 baseball season. He would comment on several occasions, "the folks at Fenway have been wonderful to me, as were the folks in the Woburn schools and especially the Kennedy." Many local young people gained employment at Fenway through Bill's efforts over the years.
In many ways a very private person, Bill would do anything for anybody and was always ready to assist with a warm welcome. Bill and his late wife Shirley held a special place in their hearts for St. Barbara's Parish in Woburn's West Side, devoting hours together to the RICA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) Program as co-directors, bringing instruction to numerous adults to the goal of coming into the Catholic Church. Bill also served on the Parish Council and the Finance Committee for the church. Almost to the day of his hospitalization, Bill continued to serve his beloved St. Barbara's as a Lector and Extraordinary Minister at Masses to assist his parish and Pastor, Rev. Vincent Mellone. He remained to the end a loyal member of the Parish. He was a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus in West Roxbury and served as Grand Knight in the 1970's.
The Horrigan family loved their summer vacations each year in South Yarmouth on Cape Cod. The time was so special to Bill and Shirley as the Horrigan "girls" (as he would call them) always found the special time to be together for a few weeks. This was a precious time for all members of the Horrigan family, which later included their cherished grandchildren, over the years.
"Bill Horrigan was one in a million and we are so very blessed to have had him over these years," said one of his closest friends in hearing of his passing, but added, "Bill is today in heaven with his wife Shirley, talking about their very special daughters and sons-in-law, and their grandchildren, who they both nurtured with great pride and admiration."
Surviving are six daughters: Mary Ann Murphy and her husband Michael of Manchester, NH, Ellen Hyde and her husband Mark of Hollis, NH, Jane McKenna and her husband Douglas of Tewksbury, Kathleen Sakati and her husband Dean of Hudson, NH, Julie Wilkins and her husband ”Ted” of Pembroke, and Christine Davidson and her husband Stephen of Littleton. He also leaves his twin sister, Ann Coakley of Jamaica Plain, and his cherished grandchildren: Meredith, Stephanie, Alex, Christopher, Nicole, Connor, Jennifer, Abigail, Ryan, Surina, Madison, Nelson, Devyn and Shea. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews.
The funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn, on Tuesday, June 19th at 10:45 a.m., followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Barbara's Church, 138 Cambridge Road, Woburn, at 11:30. Burial will take place in St. Joseph's Cemetery, W. Roxbury.
Relatives and friends are invited to call at the funeral home on Monday from 3 to 7 p.m.
Donations may be made in Mr. Horrigan's memory to the Woburn High School Scholarship Fund, PO Box 202, Woburn, MA 01801.