John M. Hartigan ‘53

John M. Hartigan ‘53


John M. Hartigan, a life-long Chicagoan was active in many civic organizations.  He headed the Kenilworth United Fund, was a long-time member of the Chicago Crime Commission and was an active Trustee at the Steppenwolf Theater Company.  A successful lawyer and keen artist – Mr. Hartigan’s first priority was his passion for his family.

Mr. Hartigan, 75, died Monday, October 22, 2007, of complications from diabetes at Evanston Hospital.

 Mr. Hartigan was the youngest child of the late Circuit Court Judge Matthew D. Hartigan and his late wife Irene Howley, was born in 1932.  He grew up in St. Dorothy’s Parish and graduated from St. Dorothy’s Grammar School and then from Leo High School before earning his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame (1955) and his law degree from Northwestern University Law School (1958).  After graduating from law school, he served as a First Lieutenant in the United States Air Force as a Judge Advocate General before helping grow a private law practice in Chicago.

“My husband was the bedrock of our family,” said his wife of 46 years, Mary Kathryn Hartigan.  “We were a great team.  He had vision and dedication both at home and at work that benefited everyone who knew him,” she said.  “And I loved him so very much.”

Mr. Hartigan served as legal counsel to many notable businesses and banks and was the Managing Partner with Carroll, Hartigan & Cerney, Ltd.

A long time client and friend of Mr. Hartigan’s, Robert R. Yohanan, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Bank & Trust, a community bank with locations in Evanston, Skokie, and Winnetka said: “In my 40 years of banking I never met a more complete man or a better lawyer.  John was extremely bright, had a wonderful sense of humor was a wise counselor and a good and faithful friend.  He had wide experience in all aspects of the law, but particularly banking. When we decided to open First Bank & Trust thirteen years ago, John was our natural choice as our Legal Counsel and as a Director.  His guidance, encouragement and knowledge made opening the bank very easy and over the years proved to be our lead Director Chairing the Compensation Committee, the Trust & Investment Management Committee, and the Executive Committee.  John was always able to bring consensus, no matter the difficulty of the issue and he did so with civility, knowledge and strength of character.  John Hartigan was a true gentleman who will be sorely missed by all whose lives he impacted.”

He met his wife Mary Kathryn Carroll at the former South Shore Country Club where he was a member and a Director.  They were married for 46 years.

A Kenilworth resident for 39 years, Mr. Hartigan was a past President of the Kenilworth Club.  He was sailor for many years and later in life became a painter.  His work was selected for a private members-only show last year at the University Club of Chicago.  His artistic talents also found expression through his involvement with The Steppenwolf Theatre Company where he was a Trustee.  Steppenwolf’s Director of Special Events, Judith Kaufman said “[Steppenwolf] has lost a passionate supporter and dear friend with the passing of trustee John Hartigan.  John’s commitment to the theater knew no bounds.  Not only did he, along with his extended family, attend every Steppenwolf production and special event in Chicago, but John was also an ardent supporter of Steppenwolf’s work both nationally and internationally.  His generosity to the theater set an example for support among our trustees.  His intelligence, quick wit and desire to lift the limits on his own artistic imagination, were cherished by all. We will miss his steady presence and faith in our work. John’s legacy to Steppenwolf and to the members of the ensemble is his abiding belief in Steppenwolf as a leading Chicago cultural institution  John will be remembered as a friend and cherished for his contributions to Steppenwolf’s growth and development.  He will always remain a beloved member of the Steppenwolf family.”

Always ready with a humorous story or a colorful tale of old-time Chicago, Mr. Hartigan was best known for his patience and optimism.

Other Survivors include: his children Mary K. Hartigan of Chicago, IL, Eileen H. Madigan (Joe) of Kenilworth, IL, Carol H. Prince (John) of Wayzata, Minnesota, and John M. Hartigan, Jr. of Evanston, IL; his grandchildren Mary Carol, Joe, Michael, and Kathryn Madigan, and Jack and James Prince; and his sister-in-law Ria Hartigan of Chicago.


  1. Randy keebler says

    When I was a student at St. Damian in oak forest, Jim Arneberg and zBill Ryan opened a day camp nears Orland Park: LEO’ s Boys Club. Mr Arneberg became my dean of student s at OFHS. Jim was a true patriot and I great mentor.

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