Patrick Neligan, M.D., 88, longtime director of health
Dr. Patrick Neligan, M.D., 88, of Redding, formerly of Ridgefield, husband of Veronica “Vera” (Carroll) Neligan, died peacefully on Friday morning, June 27, 2014 surrounded by his family. Dr. Neligan was born in Newcastle West, County Limerick, Ireland on March 27, 1926, a son of the late Maurice and Mary (O’Mahony) Neligan.
Dr. Neligan was raised in Dublin and attended Belvedere College and graduated from the University College Dublin School of Medicine in 1951 where he was also elected student body president. He completed his postgraduate studies at Oxford University in England and worked in several London hospitals. He was selected by Sir Daniel Davies, King George VI’s physician, to be the second physician to the King and worked at Buckingham Palace before coming to the United States in 1954 on a fellowship to study at Cornell sponsored by Sir Alexander Fleming, discoverer of penicillin and a longtime friend. In 1956, Dr. Neligan and his wife, Veronica, came to Ridgefield by accident and immediately fell in love with the beautiful town and opened a family practice on Main Street. A year later he joined the staff of Norwalk Hospital and over the span of his distinguished career, served on almost every committee of the medical staff. In 1975, his peers elected him Chief of Staff, and he served three consecutive two-year terms. From 1985 until his retirement in 1995, he was Vice President of Medical Affairs, Medical Director and Director of Medical Education. In 1996, he was given the William J. Tracey M.D. Award for “exemplary commitment and philanthropic leadership” at Norwalk Hospital. Retirement did not mean retirement from promoting and advancing quality medical care as Dr. Neligan in 1999 co-founded the Norwalk Community Health Center to provide medical care to the less fortunate of South Norwalk, a concern dear to his heart. Also, Dr. Neligan served as Ridgefield’s Director of Health beginning in 1970 for 34 years. He created the town Health Department to protect the health and welfare of Ridgefield residents and initiated Health Day with the VNA.
Dr. and Mrs. Neligan resided on West Mountain Road until 2013, then moving to the Meadow Ridge community in Redding. He was a member of St. Mary Parish of Ridgefield.
In addition to his wife of 60 years, he is survived by three sons, David Patrick Neligan of Essex, MA; Brian Kevin Carroll Neligan of Charlotte, NC and his wife, Elizabeth; and Patrick Neligan and his wife, Catherine, of Ridgefield; three daughters, Deirdre Anne Neligan of Harbor Island, SC.; Lorna Neligan Colarusso and her husband, Frank, of Ridgefield; and Aideen Neligan Vergara and her husband, Cesar, also of Ridgefield; a sister, Mary Gillick and her husband, Len, of Dublin, Ireland; and fifteen grandchildren. Dr. Neligan was predeceased by a brother, Maurice and a sister, Winifred, both of Dublin.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 10:15 a.m. at St. Mary Church, 55 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield with the Rev. Msgr. Laurence Bronkiewicz officiating. Entombment will follow in the Neligan family mausoleum in St. Mary Cemetery, Ridgefield. The family will receive friends in the Kane Funeral Home, 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield on Monday, June 30, from 5p.m. to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Dr. Neligan’s memory may be made to the Norwalk Community Health Center, 120 Connecticut Ave., Norwalk, Ct. 06854 or norwalkchc.org.