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Thomas Hannigan

1940 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Thomas Hannigan Obituary
Thomas Michael Hannigan

Thomas Michael Hannigan, beloved father, grandfather, husband, uncle, brother and friend to many, passed from this life on October 9, 2018 at the age of 78.
For 26 of his 78 years, Tom Hannigan sought to improve the lives of others by serving in city, county and state governmental bodies and he leaves behind a rich legacy of public service accomplishments.
Born in Vallejo on May 30, 1940, Hannigan moved to Fairfield in the second grade. He attended St. Vincent's High School in Vallejo, but also had many friends at Armijo High School.
After graduating from St. Vincent's in 1958, Hannigan earned a B.A. in Business Administration from Santa Clara University in 1962. In 1963, Hannigan enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, served in Vietnam and achieved the rank of Second Lieutenant. After leaving the service in 1966, he opened a real estate office in Fairfield.
Hannigan served on the Fairfield Recreation Commission for four years. In 1970, he was elected to the Fairfield City Council and became the Vice-Mayor. Two years later he became the Mayor. Chief among his accomplishments while on the City Council was playing a major role in bringing the Anheuser-Busch brewery to Fairfield.
In 1974, Hannigan was elected to the Solano County Board of Supervisors and served as chairman of that body for two of his four years there before being elected to California's 4th Assembly District in Sacramento in 1978.
Hannigan served 18 years in the Assembly. A major accomplishment for him was the Capitol Corridor train system linking Sacramento to the Bay Area by rail. Championed by Hannigan, the intercity commuter rail system went from idea to fruition in just four years (1987 to 1991) and remains among Amtraks' best performing corridors based on ridership.
Hannigan became Floor Majority Leader in 1986, a position he held for nine years. Term limits ended Hannigan's Assembly career in 1996, and he returned to the real estate business. In 1999, because of his expertise in water issues, Hannigan was appointed by Governor Gray Davis as Director of the Department of Water Resources, a position he held until 2003.
Hannigan met his first wife Jan of 43 years at Santa Clara University. They married in 1963 and together they raised 3 children. Jan, a beloved Solano County educator/principal whom he called "an amazing, remarkable woman" died of cancer in 2006.
Tom found love again with Karen Connolly and they married in February of 2017. Karen joined the family with her daughter Amy Wright and grandson Derek.
Tom was very active throughout his life. He loved backpacking with friends and the Sierra Club, often with his children and later with grandchildren. He was a life- long runner and together with his running partner Lou Encalada they ran in numerous marathons. Tom's favorite achievement was qualifying and running the Boston Marathon three times. His Uncle Jim Grant encouraged him to compete in the Dipsea Race, a special trail race over Mt. Tamalpais that he participated in for 32 years, which included running with his children Matthew, Bridget and his grandson Justin. Tom enjoyed snow skiing in Lake Tahoe, where he skied often with family and friends and, most recently, he enjoyed skiing with Derek. He was an avid Giants and Warriors fan, attending many games with Karen and others during their seasons.

Tom Hannigan had a deep, abiding love for his family—especially his grandchildren. They enjoyed taking numerous trips throughout the United States and abroad and are left with a lifetime of wonderful memories.
Hannigan is survived by his wife Karen Connolly Hannigan, Karen's daughter Amy Wright and grandson Derek; his three children, Erin, Matthew (Kati) and Bridget Mackay (Robert); grandchildren Justin Hannigan (fiancée Amanda Bean), Katy Hannigan, Connor Lesley, Hannah Lesley, Sarita Mackay and Elizabeth Mackay; brother Patrick Hannigan; nephew Morgan Hannigan and sister-in-law Kathleen Connolly Perkins.
A Vigil and Rosary are planned for Thursday, October 18th, 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm (Rosary at 7:00 pm) at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel parish 2700 Dover Ave, Fairfield. Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, October 19th at 11 am at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel parish
In lieu of flowers the family asks that contributions in memory of Tom Hannigan be made to: St. Vincent de Paul Society, 2700 Dover Ave, Fairfield, CA 94533
Or to
St. Patrick St. Vincent High School Class of 1958 Scholarship Fund, 1500 Benicia Road, Vallejo, CA 94591
Arrangements under the direction of Skyview Memorial Lawn 200 Rollingwood Drive, Vallejo, CA 94591.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Oct. 14, 2018
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