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American Patriotic 10


Thomas J. Hanigan

January 25, 1922 ~ February 28, 2018 (age 96)

Thomas J. Hanigan, 96, passed away peacefully on February 28, 2018 at the home that he designed on Lake Quacumquasit (South Pond) in East Brookfield, Mass.  Born in Ludlow, Tom was the fifth of six children born to William and Mary Agnes (Donnelly) Hanigan.  He grew up in Springfield where he attended Holy Name Grade School and Cathedral High School. Part of the “Greatest Generation,” he was drafted into the US army in 1942, trained as a structural engineer at the University of Mississippi and then volunteered for combat duty.  He served in the Pacific theater with the 27th Engineer Combat Battalion in New Guinea and was part of the invasion of Leyte in the Philippines, the invasion of Bataan, and General MacArthur’s march to Manila.  His battalion, among the first occupation troops in Japan following the surrender, landed in Yokohama and later occupied Nagoya.  Tom was awarded the Bronze Medal of Honor for meritorious service in a combat zone. In 1951, he  married Springfield native, Maureen Wenk,  They lived in Springfield and later in Longmeadow through their marriage of  more than 66 years.    Tom worked as an ironworker and founded Hanigan Steel in East Longmeadow.  His company erected the structural steel in many of the region’s major construction projects, including Bay State West,  the University of Mass dormitories, library, football stadium and arts building;  the Robert Frost Library at Amherst College, and numerous highway bridges along Route 91, Route 291 and the Massachusetts Turnpike.  In 1971, he purchased Ellwell Iron Works and ran both companies. The US Patent Office awarded Tom a patent from for his design of an automated tie-gun for steel reinforcing rods. He was appointed a Commissioner of the Springfield Civic Center and served for 8 years during the center’s building and inauguration.  He was also elected as Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Steel Erectors in Washington, D.C.  He was pre-deceased by his brothers William and Frank Hanigan, and his sisters Mae Welch and Dorothy Simon.  In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sister Jane Hanigan of Redwood City, CA; his three daughters: Marie (Gary Gorbsky) Hanigan of Edmond, Oklahoma, Maurelia (Brian Edwards) Hanigan of New York City, New York and Marietta (John Levy) Hanigan of Haddonfield, New Jersey; and seven grandchildren, Michael and Paul Gorbsky, Quincy Edwards, and Justin, Katelyn, Thomas and Martin Levy. Family and friends are invited to gather on Saturday, March 3, for a period of visitation from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Hafey Springfield Chapels, 494 Belmont Ave., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:15 a.m. at Holy Name Church, 323 Dickinson St., Springfield. Committal prayers with military honors will follow immediately after the Mass at St. Michael’s Cemetery in Springfield.

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