Dr. James's Story
MADAWASKA - Dr. James Frederick Harrigan passed away on March 9, 2016 in Madawaska, Maine.
He was born in Chatham, New Brunswick, on February 16, 1928 and as a young boy attended a one-room schoolhouse in Lower Napan, NB, walking 2 miles each way to school daily. He moved to Edmundston, NB in grade 9, attending Edmundston Composite High School and graduated as Valedictorian in 1945. He went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science at University of New Brunswick in 1949 and his medical degree from Dalhousie University in 1954. He was a resident in Internal Medicine in Connecticut and Delaware and was certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He began his career in Edmundston in 1957, serving the community, his patients and the medical profession for over 40 years. Dr. Harrigan was always known to be a kind, caring person who gave much to those he served, expecting little in return. He was a quiet and unassuming man who so easily gained the love and respect of his patients, his colleagues and the community in which he lived. He reluctantly retired when he was 74 but his identity as a doctor continued to be very important to him. He was presented with the Order of Merit by the New Brunswick Medical Society in 1997 for setting the gold standard of care. He also served as the company physician for Fraser Paper Inc., for twenty-five years. For his time at Fraser, he earned the title "emeritus" in industrial medicine. His accomplishments within the medical community were many, however, in his mind, his true accomplishments were those of his five children and ten grandchildren whom he loved very much.
He is predeceased by his parents, Leonard and Bertha (Murdoch) Harrigan, his sister, Doris and his brother, Al. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Shirley Harrigan, sister, Ann Hodgins, children, Dan (Mary), Kathy (Chris), Lynne, John (Lyne), and Terence (Alice), and many nieces and nephews. He will be dearly missed by his grandchildren, Caitlin, Lauren, Eamonn, Alex, Karen, Amye, Sarah, Patric, Liam and Maeve. In his final months, his remarkable commitment to his profession was even more evident, through the physicians, nurses, past patients and children of past patients who made their last visit to a man who they say routinely went above and beyond when providing care. He will be remembered for his devotion to his profession, his beautiful garden and his profound love for his old homestead in Miramichi, New Brunswick, lovingly called "The Farm." Special thanks to the staff at High View Manor for their exceptional care.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the St. Thomas Catholic Church in Madawaska on Monday, March 14, 2016 at 10am. Relatives and friends may greet the family at the church from 9am until 9:45am on March 14 before the Mass. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Edmundston Regional Hospital Foundation, 275 Boulevard Hebert, Edmundston, NB E3V 4E4. Arrangements have been entrusted to Lajoie Funeral Home, Inc. For online condolences, please visit
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