Obituary for John Walter McTigue
October 23, 1941 – September 8, 2021
John Walter McTigue, brother, husband, father, grandfather, friend, and mentor, died at 5pm on Wednesday, September 8 with his wife and sons by his side. He was 79.
John was born on October 23, 1941 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Both his parents, Walter John McTigue and Agnes E Reardon, were from the Boston area and passionately of Irish descent. For much of the war the McTigues lived in Newport, Rhode Island where John’s father served as an officer in the Navy Quartermaster Corps. The family briefly returned to Massachusetts after the war where his brother, Michael Paul McTigue, was born in 1946. In 1948 the family moved to San Carlos, California, where at a young age John began rooting for the San Francisco 49ers, attending games at Kezar with his father.
The family moved to Winnetka, Illinois in 1951 where John had what he has always called a dream childhood. He loved playing baseball, watching sports of all kinds with his dad and spending summers in Rockport, Massachusetts with his brother and friends playing baseball from dawn to dusk.
John attended New Trier High School in Winnetka (’59), the University of Wisconsin (BA ’63) and University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall School of Law) (JD ’66). He made lifelong friends at every stage and was intensely loyal to those close to him. John was in Reserve Officers Training Corps during college and after graduating law school began his service as a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army in the spring in 1967, completing his tour as Captain including time spent overseas in Korea.
In 1969, after leaving the Army, John joined the Contra Costa District Attorney’s office as a junior prosecutor, the beginning of a nearly 30-year career in that office. John was eventually appointed Chief Deputy, and held that position for thirteen years before retiring in 1998. During his time as a prosecutor John was known as an excellent trial lawyer and leader. As Chief Deputy he was responsible for hiring and training countless lawyers who went on to their own impressive careers.
In 1969 John also bought 49ers season tickets, and they have stayed in the family ever since. The orange seats from Candlestick proudly sit in the family home’s front yard. He attended the first 49ers Super Bowl and countless famous 49ers moments.
In 1979 John married Elaine Joy Bodwell, a marriage that lasted 42 years. They first met in court – Elaine was the court reporter in John’s first trial as a lawyer in 1969 (a story John proudly told countless times). John and Elaine had two sons, who followed in John’s footsteps by attending law school at their father’s alma mater and are established lawyers in their own right. The two daughters-in-law are also lawyers – Thanksgivings in the McTigue household were always a lively debate about politics, philosophy, or the topic of the day.
After retiring in 1998, John followed his lifelong dream by moving with his family to Park City, Utah. For eleven years he golfed or skied every day he could. He was a real estate agent for fun on the side. When both their kids ended up back in the Bay Area for school and work John and Elaine returned to be able to spend time with them and, eventually, their new families.
It is difficult to explain exactly why John was such an influence on so many. He was a leader in the office as well as his community. John was a significant organizer of fundraising for Saint Mary’s College, and spent many weekends over many years coaching baseball for his sons’ teams. He hired and developed countless lawyers. And he was an amazing brother, husband, father, grandfather and friend.
John is survived by his brother Michael and his family, John’s wife Elaine, his sons Casey and Sean, his daughters-in-law Tatyana and Serafima, and his three grandchildren Stephen, Ella, and Ryan. We all miss him very much. There will be a private family service because of the pandemic. The family welcomes donations in lieu of flowers to the East Bay Scholarship Fund at Saint Mary’s College, PMB 4300, Moraga, CA 94575, in memory of John McTigue.
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