John Joseph Hartigan, who had a long and illustrious career in the New York City Police Department, passed away peacefully at his home in Rye, N.Y. on September 19, 2020. He was 86.
Born November 8, 1933, he was the son of Elizabeth and Stephen Hartigan. He was raised on City Island, where he attended St. Mary Star of the Sea School and was an altar boy at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, as well as at the chapel on Hart Island.
After elementary school, Jack, as he was called, attended Fordham Preparatory School where he was a member of the swim team. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1952 to 1956.
He then joined the New York City Police Department, serving for 36 years and achieving the rank of Deputy Chief. While on the force, he received a degree in criminal justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. His police career included assignments, both in the patrol and detective divisions, in four of the City’s five boroughs. Mr. Hartigan was one of the highest-ranking NYPD officers in the Narcotics Joint Task Force, comprised of personnel from the NY State Police, the NYPD, and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. He also had commanding officer roles in the Manhattan North, Brooklyn North, Bronx, and Patrol Borough Queens divisions.
In retirement, he remained an active member of the Captain Endowment Association and the Emerald Society of the NYPD. He was instrumental in forming the NYPD’s Emerald Society Bagpipe Band.
He met his wife Irene at the Jersey Shore, and they married in 1959.
He was an active member of Leonard Hawkins Post 156 American Legion on City Island, where he participated in many community events and enjoyed the camaraderie. For many years, he was the Judge Advocate at the Legion, and in 2019, the members of the American Legion named him Judge Advocate Emeritus.
For close to 40 years, he was a member of Coveleigh Club in Rye, where he enjoyed swimming, tennis, paddle tennis, lawn bowling, and socializing with family and friends. He was also a former member of Rye Golf Club.
He enjoyed traveling to Ireland, Florida, California, and Minnesota, listening to Irish music, watching his beloved New York Yankees and New York Giants, and spending time with his children and grandchildren who loved “Papa Jack”.
“Jack had many lifelong friendships, and his personality and outgoing nature were characteristics that endeared him to people. He will be dearly missed,” said his family.
Mr. Hartigan was predeceased by Irene, his wife of 56 years, and by his sister Catherine Walsh.
He is survived by his three loving children, Patricia (Derek) Malmquist of Edina, Minn.; Stephen (Carmen) Hartigan of Pelham Manor, N.Y., and Lisa (Pete) Ashton of Piedmont, Calif.; ten grandchildren: Dylan, Garrett, and Liam Malmquist, Kaitlin, Kiely, Madison, and Christopher Hartigan, and Katie, Molly, and Tommy Ashton; as well as his brother-in-law, Bob Walsh, his sister-in-law, Norma Minicus, and his brother-in-law, Bob Minicus.
A Christian mass and burial were held September 26 at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church on City Island. To view the livestream mass, log on www.grahamfuneralhomerye.com and click on Jack’s obituary page.