Sept. 19, 1990 - Dec. 27, 2014
William P. “Billy” Hartigan, an engineer, athlete and musician, died Dec. 27 after a year-long struggle with a rare form of cancer. He was 24.
Mr. Hartigan was born in Williamsville, the oldest of four children. He attended St. Gregory the Great School, where he developed a love of science and technology through his activities in the Science Olympiad Program. He also played baseball and basketball.
Known to friends and family as Billy, he went on to graduate from Canisius High School, where he was a varsity athlete in baseball and cross country. He achieved All-Catholic honors in cross-country, and was awarded the James J. Lilly Award for outstanding character, knowledge, commitment and passion for his work in baseball.
Mr. Hartigan attended the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he graduated with honors in 2013 with a bachelor’s in electrical engineering. He was a music fan and, while at the school, developed an interest in the electric guitar. He joined a local band, The Reactions, and produced a CD while performing many shows with the group.
In his third year at RIT, he met his fiancee, Morganne Atutis, who remained with him during his illness.
Mr. Hartigan landed jobs at Sony Corp., Cannon Design and, finally, the Schlumberger Oilfield Co. in Houston. While at Schlumberger, he began a master’s program in engineering at Rice University. He worked and studied even as he received treatments for urachal cancer at the Burzynski Clinic in Houston.
Family members described him as a humble and selfless person who worked incredibly hard, faced his illness with courage and maintained a deep faith until the end of his life.
Survivors include his parents, Patricia and Paul; two brothers, Timothy and Patrick; a sister, Mary Katherine; a grandfather, John Hartigan; a grandmother, Betty Reidy; and many aunts and uncles.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9 a.m. Wednesday in St. Gregory the Great Church, 200 Saint Gregory Court, Williamsville.