Eleanor P. Harrigan
December 29, 1919 – June 25, 2018
Eleanor Patricia (née Baker) Harrigan, loving wife and imperturbable matriarch of the Harrigan family, died on Monday, June 25, in Woodbridge, CT. She was 98.
Eleanor was born December 29, 1919 in Bay Ridge Brooklyn to Thomas and Josephine Baker. She learned frugality early on, witnessing firsthand the hardships of the Great Depression. Eleanor would recount how her mother travelled from Bay Ridge to the meatpacking district of Manhattan every week because those rations were the largest in the city. She needed all she could get to feed her family of six.
Throughout adolescence, Eleanor would attend church functions and ride horses with her friends in New York City’s parks. Eventually she attended The Katharine Gibbs School in New York, which instilled in her a lifelong love of orderliness and propriety.
Eleanor met Joseph Ward Harrigan at a local dance in Bay Ridge. Soon after, the couple decided to marry, right before Ward shipped off to serve as a Lieutenant in the Navy during World War II.
Ward survived the war and returned to Eleanor to begin their lives together in Bay Ridge. They had two daughters in their Brooklyn home, Kerry and Beth. Eventually, they moved out to Westbury, NY. Their third and fourth daughters, Kim and Maura, joined them shortly after.
While Ward became a Math teacher, Eleanor stayed home to raise their four daughters. Her greatest loves were reading, gardening, watching football, and practicing her strong Catholic faith.
Over time, Eleanor’s family grew, and she established herself as the matriarch of the extended Harrigan family. She became grandmother to eight and great-grandmother to three. The Harrigans moved to the small town of Sandwich, MA in 1988. While Ward golfed, Eleanor loved her books, her garden, and her friends. Both she and Ward were integral members of the Corpus Christi Catholic Parish and divided their time between volunteering at various church events and functions, and socializing with their friends and growing family.
Eleanor’s constant even-handedness guided her family through the unimaginable grief of losing the Harrigans’ second child, Beth Pile, and two of their grandsons, Colin Baerman and Trevor Hodne, far before their times. She endured it all with extreme grace and faith in God.
Her toughest loss came in 2011 when Ward passed away after a struggle with congestive heart failure. She remained in their Cape Cod home until moving to an assisted living facility in Connecticut in 2015.
Eleanor died as she lived: with great composure and no complaint.
We all hope to carry on her resilient, guiding spirit and learn from her example of elegance, poise, and faith, even in the darkest of times.
Her funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, July 2, 2018 at the Corpus Christi Parish 324 Quaker Meeting House Road. Interment at the Massachusetts National Cemetery. Visitation prior to funeral mass 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Nickerson-Bourne Funeral Home 154 Route 6A Sandwich, MA
- Visitation Monday, July 2, 2018
- Funeral Mass Monday, July 2, 2018
- Interment Monday, July 2, 2018
Eleanor P. Harrigan
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