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Lawrence Galligan
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Obituary for Lawrence Galligan

GALLIGAN, Lawrence Longtime Tucson resident and former Pima County Judge Lawrence W. "Larry" Galligan, 91, died peacefully at home on Thursday, November 2, 2017. As he had done virtually every day of his life since he was a teen, Larry was listening to music from Benny Goodman, Lester Young and other greats from his prized jazz collection. Larry was born in Manhattan and raised in Westfield, NJ, in a three-generation household that included his self-made Wall Street father, beloved mother, Carrie, and siblings, Bill and Marie. Larry was the quiet valedictorian of his high school, taught by the Jesuits whom he said were the best teachers he ever had. He served in the U.S. Navy in World War II, then received his BA from Seton Hall University on the GI Bill. He met his wife, Mimi, at work in lower Manhattan. The two of them, with a toddler and baby in tow, headed west in 1956 for Larry to attend the University of Arizona Law School. The young family lived first in a Quonset hut in Polo Village (married student housing) and then an old adobe home near 4th Avenue downtown. This was when Arizona was still the frontier and Tucson was the Wild West, and they loved it. Larry was a solo family law practitioner for most of his career, except during the early 1970s, when he served as Judge of the Superior Court of Pima County. Larry loved simple pleasures, none more than music. From boyhood through his final years, he was a passionate fan of early jazz, swing and blues music. Underage, he started frequenting the clubs in Harlem and Times Square when, as he told it, parental supervision was too loose. He played the clarinet, piano and vibraphone (the "vibes" in his parlance) and over his long life amassed a notable collection of recordings, books and documentaries from this era. He traveled to jazz festivals across the Western U.S. and was a weeknight regular at the Arizona Inn – a charter member of the Bob Linesch fan club. Larry was a well-informed observer of current and historical events, often offering a skeptical take with his dry sense of humor. He marveled at engineering accomplishments from the Wright Brothers (whom he could discuss at length) and NASA's moon landings to Elon Musk's Tesla, which just the other week he declared to be "beautiful, spectacular." Dad grew up a Yankees fan who saw DiMaggio and other greats play, but he swore off the team with the advent of the Steinbrenners and everything else that he said corrupted the game, including the designated hitter. Dad was a lifelong fan of tennis, however, never missing a major on TV, including just weeks ago. In recent years he loved having his adult kids make him fresh margaritas. But everyone who knows Larry Galligan knows he had an abiding love of a proper gin martini, extra dry. He is survived by his son, David (Minnneapolis, MN) and daughters, Patricia (Alan) of Lafayette, CA and Diane (Brendan) of Brooklyn Heights, NY as well as seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. His son, Daniel predeceased him. Funeral arrangements are private. The family requests no flowers or memorials. Interment will be at All Faiths Memorial Park, 2151 S. Avenida Los Reyes, Tucson.


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