Martin J. Gilligan, of New Providence, New Jersey, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, with his loving children by his side. He was 83 years old. Born in Waterbury, Connecticut on November 24, 1936, he was the son of the late Martin Gilligan of Tuam, Co. Galway, Ireland and Elizabeth (nee: Fitzmaurice) Gilligan of Waterbury, Connecticut. After graduating from Sacred Heart High School in 1953, he went on to earn a degree in Physics from Fairfield University in 1957.
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His career began as a civilian contractor for the U.S. Air Force where he traveled the country working on U.S. Air Defense Systems during the Cold War. Later, he continued his career in various roles as a member of Western Electric Co. and AT&T in New York City, Washington, D.C. and New Jersey. He continued to pursue education, enrolling in courses at New York University and Georgetown University School of Law. Martin was also an avid outdoorsman and adventurer, with a passion for hiking, mountain climbing and sailing.
Martin quickly settled down after meeting his wife Sue Ellen Gilligan (nee: Hickey) while both were volunteering at St. John’s Hospice in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Thereafter, he devoted his life to raising and caring for his family which he considered to be his most important accomplishment.
In his later years, Martin enjoyed spending time with his three children, whom he adored. It was with them that Martin was happiest.
Martin was preceded in death by his devoted wife, Sue Ellen Gilligan; and survived by his three children, Elizabeth Virginia Gilligan, Michael Joseph Gilligan, and Maura Anne Gilligan; sister Joan LaFrance; sisters-in-law Barbara LaMonaca, Nancy Harrison and Carol Norris-Smith; brothers-in-law Roger LaFrance, Jeff Harrison and Joseph Smith; as well as and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that Memorial Contributions be made to the Sage Eldercare – Meals on Wheels, located at 290 Broad Street, Summit, NJ 07901.
A viewing will be held on Sunday December 8th at Valley Memorial Funeral Home in Gillette, New Jersey from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. A mass will be held on Monday, December 9th at the Shrine of St. Joseph in Stirling, New Jersey at 11:00 a.m. with interment to follow at St. Vincent De Paul Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the Valley Memorial Funeral Home 1012 Valley Rd., Gillette, NJ. For Information and On-line condolences www.valleymemorialfuneralhome.net