Michael J. Hartigan, 90, of Elmhurst. Beloved husband of the late Therese Frances nee Breen, the late Margaret M. nee Breen and the late Ruth Cirese; loving father of Michael J. Jr. (Aray), Therese A. (Gregory) Wozniak, Matthew E. (Kathleen), Luke P. (Viki), Sean L. and the late Mark P.; cherished father-in-law of Margaret and the late Francine; proud grandfather of Mary Anne, Michael III, Lawrence, Alexander, Milan, Therese, Annie, Jennifer, Christine, Joseph, Jack, Bridgette, Dominic, Nichole, Meghan, Kyla and the late Martin and Mark Jr.; devoted great grandfather of Maria, Benjamin and Brooke; fond brother of the late Lawrence and brother-in-law of Evelyn; dear step-father of John and Gail Gustavson and Robert Cirese.
Mike was born in Chicago, IL to his parents, the late Lawrence and Margaret (Brown) Hartigan. He grew up on the south side of Chicago during the Great Depression. He graduated from Visitation Grammar School, attended St. Rita High School for two years and graduated from Fournier High School in Lemont in IL in 1945. Mike promptly enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17. Prior to the end of World War II, he was being trained to operate landing craft for the anticipated invasion of Japan. Following his honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy, he enrolled at the University of Notre Dame and received his B.S. Degree in Civil Engineering in 1950. In the company of his beloved first wife, Therese, whom he married in September, 1950, Mike began his career as a Professional Engineer at the Ohio Department of Transportation in Cleveland, Ohio. He then attended Yale University for a year where he received a certificate in traffic engineering. He returned to Chicago (in large part at the urgings of his homesick spouse) to work as a traffic engineer with the City of Chicago. Mike moved on to work at the Illinois Department of Transportation where he rose to become a Deputy District Engineer. Among his many accomplishments (besides innumerable expressway designs, including some challenging “spaghetti bowl” interchanges) was the creation of the emergency road vehicle service, “the Minute Men” who patrol the expressways of Chicago and other roadways in Illinois. Mike then became the Chief Engineer at the Illinois Toll Highway Authority, which may well have been his favorite job. He ultimately finished his career as a Consulting Engineer and Vice President at C. F. Murphy/McDonough Engineering. Throughout Mike’s career, he demonstrated the highest level of professionalism and skill and was a great mentor and respected colleague to many within the professional engineering community. Mike moved to Elmhurst, IL in 1954 where he raised his family. He was a great and devoted father to his 6 children, particularly to his youngest child, Sean, who has Down Syndrome. Like many of the “Greatest Generation”, he participated in many local community organizations, including the Cub Scouts, bowling leagues, the American Legion, the Elmhurst Auxiliary Police, and famously (or perhaps “infamously”) as a star performer in the “Far from Broadway” productions at his parish, Visitation Church. Just as at home, his voice was clear and loud, if not entirely melodic; and just as at home, he commanded the stage and was dearly loved. Following the far too early death of his first wife, Mike married Margaret, but that warm, loving marriage ended less than a year later when Margaret died in her sleep. Mike, who was a man who loved life and being married, was wed for a third time. His marriage to Ruth lasted over 20 wonderful years during which they aged gracefully and lovingly. Mike was a great friend to many, a dear, cherished and generous grandfather, great grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, godfather and step-father. He had a great, irrepressible love for life. He was a graceful writer. He loved to sing and dance, notwithstanding obvious talent challenges. He traveled to Ireland 18 times where he reveled in its music, its beauty and the warmth of the Irish people. He loved the Fighting Irish. He couldn’t resist the foot tapping tones of a polka and he never missed an episode or a rerun of the Lawrence Welk Show. Mike was everything a great man could be. He will be dearly and forever missed by all who loved him, that is, everyone who ever had the good fortune to have met him.
Visitation at Ahlgrim Funeral Home, 567 S. Spring Rd., Elmhurst from 3:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. Sunday, March 11, 2018. Prayers 10:30 A.M. Monday, March 12, 2018 at the funeral home going to Visitation Church. Mass at 11:00 A.M. Interment Queen of Heaven Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, Memorials will be appreciated for the Misericordia Heart of Mercy, 6300 N. Ridge, Chicago, IL 60660. Funeral info 630-834-3515 or www.ahlgrim.com hide