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Jul 5, 2011 10:29 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Tom Corrigan Of East Quogue Loses Fight With Leukemia

Jul 6, 2011 1:58 PM

An East Quogue husband and father of four lost his battle with leukemia on the Fourth of July, a week after he underwent a successful bone marrow transplant, and following a several-month search for potential donors.

Tom Corrigan of East Quogue died on Monday at the North Shore University Medical Center in Manhasset—the same place where he received the transplant and where he was recovering following the procedure. Mr. Corrigan, who was first diagnosed with leukemia in November, was 53.

Family friend Jen Tiska said on Tuesday that Mr. Corrigan, a former New York Police Department detective and the owner of Tom McBrien’s pub on Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays, died after succumbing to pneumonia.

“It went well,” Ms. Tiska said of the bone marrow transplant. “Tommy did well for the first few days. It was an accumulation of a bunch of different things,” she said of the complications that led to his death.

The transplant itself—which involves the transfer of healthy bone marrow cells from a donor into a patient, with the idea being that the healthy stem cells will take the place of the unhealthy ones—was the result of an extensive donor search. That search included a bone marrow transplant drive held in February at the East Quogue Firehouse.

Ms. Tiska, who organized the bone marrow donor drive for Mr. Corrigan and his friend Matt Curran of Hampton Bays, who is suffering from lymphoma, said more than 1,000 community members stood in long lines that day to fill out the necessary forms and have their cheeks swabbed in an effort to find a match for the two men. Mr. Corrigan learned at the end of March that a perfect match had been found, and he had a successful transplant last week, according to Ms. Tiska.

“It became critical very quickly,” Ms. Tiska said of his subsequent condition. “Unfortunately, it was just a lot of things going on for him.”

During an interview earlier this year, Mr. Corrigan said that he and his wife, Colleen, moved their family from Middle Village, Queens, to the East End full-time in 2001, the same year that he retired from the NYPD. Prior to that, Mr. Corrigan was working as the lead detective in the investigation of the crash of Trans World Airlines Flight 800, which exploded off the coast of East Moriches on July 17, 1996, killing all 230 people on board.

Mr. Corrigan also said that their four children—Tom, Michael, Brian and Caroline—all attended local schools.

The former detective learned that he had blood cancer last November during a regular checkup. During the earlier interview, he had said that cancer runs in his family. His younger brother, Michael, died from brain cancer and his mother, the late Muriel Corrigan, battled the disease twice.

For Ms. Tiska, Mr. Corrigan’s death means the loss of a devoted friend and a familiar face around the community. “I was blessed to know him as a friend,” she said.

Mr. Curran, who is still recovering from his own bone marrow transplant surgery from May 25, said this week that he had known Mr. Corrigan for 12 years, and that the two had begun referring to themselves as “transplant buddies.”

“He was a great, great, great man and he always had a song in his heart,” Mr. Curran said. “He really taught me how to love family and how to put family before anything else.”

Mr. Curran also noted that Mr. Corrigan had had an extensive police career and often worked abroad, adding that he was involved in a mission where he picked up Osama bin Laden, the late leader of Al Qaeda, before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Prior to his death, Mr. Corrigan pointed out that many members of his family were involved in the New York City Police Department in some capacity.

“We were joking that we were going to have a beer at Tide Runners when we both got better,” Mr. Curran said before becoming emotional. “I guess I’ll have to get that beer on my own.”

In addition to his wife and four children, Mr. Corrigan is survived by his sister Patricia of Manhattan. He was predeceased by a sister Eileen, a brother, Michael, and his parents, Thomas and Muriel.

Visitation for Mr. Corrigan will be held at the R.J. O’Shea Funeral Home on Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays on Thursday, July 7, and Friday, July 8, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. each day. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 9, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Rosalie’s Roman Catholic Church on Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays. Interment will follow at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary cemetery on County Road 39 in Southampton Village.

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My thoughts and sympathies are with this family. My goodness, what sad news. Rest in peace Mr. Corrigan.
By bchgrl83 (52), Westhampton Beach on Jul 5, 11 11:06 AM
You fought the good fight, did not go gentle into that good night. Now is the time to rest. In peace. You'll be missed, but remembered fondly.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Jul 5, 11 3:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
So terribly sad. Our thoughts are with Mr.Corrigan and his family.

By rabblerouser (46), Hampton Bays on Jul 5, 11 10:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
Tom was a wonderful man who will be very much missed.
By barnbabe (64), westhampton beach on Jul 5, 11 10:47 PM
Great man who will truly be missed.
By GoldenBoy (351), EastEnd on Jul 5, 11 11:52 PM
Tom was an incredible guy with a heart of gold.. he will be missed by all.
Sending thoughts and prayers to his family
By missingthebeach (2), EQ on Jul 6, 11 9:12 PM
Tom was a great man, and a great boss. So upsetting to find out this news...
By nl63 (1), Hampton Bays on Jul 14, 11 4:39 PM
Very sorry to read of his passing,rest in peace.
By LovinLife (61), East Quogue on Jul 17, 11 10:13 AM