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John Harrigan


1925 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
John Harrigan Obituary
John Harrigan
June 22, 1925 - Dec. 17, 2017
Santa Barbara
It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the passing of our father and grandfather, John Frederick Harrigan, on December 17, 2017.
John was born on June 22, 1925, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He was the oldest of three children born to Frederick and Marion (Farr) Harrigan. As a child he lived in Minnesota, Colorado, and Oregon, graduating from Grant High School in Portland.
At seventeen, John joined the Marines to serve in WWII where he was stationed in the Pacific Islands and earned a Purple Heart.
After the war, he attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison on the GI Bill. He met his future wife, Barbara Heald, while working in food service at her sorority. Barbara and John were married in 1950 in Cincinnati, Ohio. They spent their honeymoon traveling to Portland, Oregon, to begin their life together.
John started his banking career as a savings teller at First National Bank of Oregon in 1949. After 22 years and as an Executive Vice President, he transferred to Seattle to become the Chairman and CEO of Pacific National Bank of Washington. In 1974, another move took them to Los Angeles where he became the Vice Chairman of United California Bank and then President of Western Bancorporation (First Interstate Bancorp.) In 1980, he took the position of Chairman and CEO of Union Bank. He remained with Union Bank until 1990, when John and Barbara retired to Santa Barbara.
John had many interests. He was an avowed bird watcher and nature lover, an avid golfer, bridge player, and amateur gardener. He and Barbara traveled extensively for business and pleasure and also spent considerable time in the Palm Desert area. He was a member of the Los Angeles Country Club and the Valley Club of Montecito. Throughout his career he served on the Boards of the Smithsonian Institute, Nordstrom, Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Association, The Peregrine Fund, UCLA Business School, and the Los Angeles Natural History Museum.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, his daughter and son-in-law Sally and Mike Gruber of Aptos, son and daughter-in-law Peter and Molly Harrigan of San Francisco, and six grandchildren, Shaun, Erin, Quinn, and Colin Gruber, and Ainsleigh and Audrey Harrigan.
The family would like to thank Casa Dorinda of Montecito and especially our numerous private caregivers for their love and support over the the last few years.
John was a true gentleman, and a generous and devoted husband, father and grandfather, and he will be greatly missed.


View the online memorial for John Harrigan
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Dec. 31, 2017
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