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John Patrick Gilligan

02/25/1937 - 08/14/2021

John P. Gilligan

Mesa, AZ – John P. Gilligan of Mesa , Arizona, formerly of Yonkers , N.Y. died August 14 at 84.

Born in Manhattan to Patrick and Mary Gilligan on February 25th 1937, John had more than 40 years in banking, and was well known in Yonkers for his work with the Kiwanus Club , Yonkers Chamber of Commerce, United Way and the Westchester County Bankers Association .

He was predeceased by his wife Nancy in December 2020. They had many dogs over the years and he loved them all. He also loved the San Francisco Giants formerly of the Polo Grounds, N.Y. where he saw them play as a kid.

He is survived by son John , wife Emily, who became John’s “daughter” over the years, sister Alice Scherf , nephew Robert (Mary) , nieces Barbara Zaccarelli and Marianne Telenko (Allan) their families , and many cousins and friends , all of whom he loved dearly.

Also survived by Nancy’s daughter Shannon, son John Sorensen (Colleen) and Martin , Evelyn and Patrick. Also by grandchildren Emmy (Ethan), Cori , Jessie , Skye and Noah, and his dog Sarah, rehomed by Emmy.

From John Jr :

After his second Covid vaccine in April my father had brain fog and issues with balance and appetite. He began to develop dementia , which increased rapidly after a fall at home in July. He stopped eating in the hospital , which led to his death.

As a media member , I know the story is not balanced. My father told me in his last months that he was “done with vaccines” and said “giving it to kids would be criminal.” Heed his words.


Arrangements by Bunker’s University Chapel, www.bunkerfuneral.com. Should this obituary appear anywhere but bunkerfuneral.com, please check our website for accurate details and service information.


  • I will miss your quirky jokes. I will miss your laughter and hearing your voice. Although memories of you are too long to ever forget, my favorite is the time that John and I went to a Mets game with you and my dad. Both of you sitting in the back seat talking and laughing as you each held onto your wedges and the excitement you both shared to finally eat them! You were the best father-in-law a girl could ask for. Give our Peanut a kiss from us. I love you dad. I always have and I always will.

  • Barbara zaccarelli

    Our sincerest sympathy & love to John &Emily on the passing of your father. May all the joys & good times that you’ve shared, comfort you at this time. I, myself, have the fondest memories of Uncle Johnny. He was kind, generous & attentive to me always. In spite of his pain the last few months, he routinely called, inquiring about my beloved Anthony (RIP). I trust that they, along with Nancy, your mom & all those who have passed, are in that peaceful, perfect place.

  • The world is a little less bright now. Grandpa John wasn’t actually biologically related to me but he might as have well been. He married my Grandma before I was born and was always there for me. He treated me and my sister as if we were his grandkids.

    They used to come visit from New York and we’d go to Giants games or the wharf in San Francisco. During one visit he bought me a stuffed white tiger which I named after him. I still have that tiger. I used to make fun of his Yonkers accent and ask him to say orange juice which was always so funny to me (“ahh-range juice”). I would even sometimes sleep on the couch next to him and my grandma when they stayed over. Every time they left I would cry. Even when I became an adult, every time I had to say goodbye I couldn’t hold back the tears.

    He and my grandma moved to Arizona in the 90s and we would go visit him when we could. He remarried in 1998 but that didn’t matter because he was still my Grandpa John. He would call me more often in the summer to make sure we were okay because of the California wildfires. He always said his geography skills weren’t great. He’d always ask me to tell my husband that “the old gray haired guy” says hello. He’d call my husband “old man” and would make me promise to tell him he said that.

    I’m honored that I could be there for him at the end because he was always there for me.

    His first day in hospice he received a gift. It was a Bud Light in a brown paper bag with a note on it. It read, “John, I owe you a Bud Light to share. Love, Stephanie from Chase.” That is the kind of person he was. He made friends every where he went. Every person he interacted with loved him. He always joked around and loved to make people laugh.

  • ❤️💖❤️💝 I’m so glad you got to John right away, Emmy. Thanks for all that you did 💗

  • Wayne and Cindi Edelson

    John was a special kind of wise guy. We always enjoyed his visits to our home in Utah. We were all one family when he was there. Feliz Navidad was a special Christmas song we always shared, even to this day. He will always be remembered and loved. Rest in peace, our Grandpa John.

  • I only ever talk to John once over the phone. He had phoned my partner, lover and friend (and his grandson), Jesse, whom he loved very much, and loves! On that phone call he asked to speak to me, really I think to verify that I was good enough for Jesse 🙂 and that Jesse was good enough for me. He is very equal and has wisdom, in that way. Jesse always talked about John very fondly.

  • Susan Melton Piper

    Grandpa John, as we always called him, was one of the most loving people I’ve ever met. He was Jerry’s stepdad and the best grandfather ever to our daughters, niece and nephews. When he was around, there was constant laughter. He brought out the best in all of us. He was a Giants fan, taking our daughter to a game when he’d come to visit. I also remember what a good sport he was about going horseback riding in AZ, just before he moved there years ago. You could tell he wasn’t too sure about that trail ride but he was a trooper the whole time. I was not a Sinatra fan but his love of Frank Sinatra and his music gave me an appreciation of many of his songs. He was a natural born comedian and story teller.
    Emmy, thank you for taking care of him so quickly and staying with him. I’m glad you and John were with Grandpa John. Jesse and Michelle, I’m glad you and Jesse made that long trip to be there for him.
    May you rest in eternal peace. We love and miss you.

  • Pat and John Small

    My dearest Johnny- We will miss your phone calls and jokes about Cream soda- My mom and her sister, your mom are waiting at those pearly gates to welcome you- Love you dear cousin, and may the good Lord hold you in the palm of His hand..

  • Uncle John and my cousin John all my prayers are with you. I grew up watching the Mets and eating Bronx pizza with you, playing baseball in the backyard and getting hit in the head (thanks John that explains a lot). Rest peacefully now and know you were loved.

  • John was a friend of mine and my husband for over 25 years in New York. We were both very active in the community and we enjoyed many business and leisure outings. I spoke with him last year and know he was heartbroken about losing his Nancy…he was a friend and a mentor and will be deeply missed.

  • When I first became a Kiwanian I met very fine gentlemen who were members who were doing so many fine things for the community. John was one such person. He was a dynamic individual. He was a leader and a hard worker. He was very much admired by all who knew him.

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