Patricia Ann (McGilligan) Gavigan

Patricia McGilligan Gavigan

Patricia McGilligan Gavigan - Alzheimer's Version

Patricia Ann (McGilligan) Gavigan

At 8:13 am on a foggy Saturday morning, Patricia Ann Gavigan, age 76, a breast cancer and Alzheimer’s survivor ended her life journey surrounded by her family on December 12th, 2015, following a stroke she had in September of this year.

Patricia Ann McGilligan: “Pat”, “Trish”, “Mom”, “Trisha”, “Patty”, “Aunt Pat”, Tanta, “Grandma”; was born at 6:04 pm on April 26th,1939 at Madison General Hospital in Madison to John Edward McGilligan Jr. and Ruth Arlene Hommerstad.

Pat spent her younger years living in downtown Madison, attending St. Raphael’s school (class of 1953). Pat graduated from Madison West High School (class of 1957).  After high school she attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she met her future husband Robert Gavigan. On January 20th, 1962, they were married at St. Raphael’s Church beginning their lifelong residency together in Madison.

Pat spent her life loving, caring, and giving to others. She cared for her children, she cared for her nephew’s, she cared for her grandchildren and she cared for all her friends.  If you had a question, a problem, or just wanted to chat, Pat was always there at anytime, any place, for anyone.


As a child Pat spent many summers in Hayward Wisconsin at her parent’s cabin on the Chippewa Flowage. Pat attended Riverview School in Hayward for second grade. Pat loved fishing and would regularly take a boat out by herself and return with a stringer of crappies.

Hockey Mom
Hockey Mom

When her children were playing hockey with the South Side Hockey Association, she had many roles. The term hockey mom was modeled after Pat. She was the registrar, secretary, treasurer, “south-side sissy”, Ice-Mice skating instructor, photographer, artist, cook, banquet coordinator, fundraiser, and more.

Anything anyone needed, Pat was there. Even long after her “hockey mom” days were over, Pat took great care to preserve historic audio recordings she took that will help document one of the greatest periods of Hockey in Madison’s history.


Pat enjoyed sewing, photography, skating (roller and ice), drawing, knitting, playing piano, gardening, snow, Christmas, yard work, crocheting, bowling, crafting, scrap-booking, and most of all, she enjoyed playing bridge with her card group friends.

Pat especially loved cooking & baking and was never afraid of trying something new while also feeling that it was very important to preserve the traditional Irish, German, and Norwegian family recipes; making sure she passed them along to her children.

Pat Gavigan - The Best Cook EVER
Pat Gavigan – The Best Cook EVER

Pat worked briefly at the Wisconsin DMV then focused on her “real career” of loving, caring, and giving to her family.  Once the family had grown, she worked with her sister, son, cousin, and nephews at the family businesses:McGilligan’s and Stevens Design until her retirement in 2007.

Pat is survived by her husband Robert Dale Gavigan; sister Buffy Stevens; children, Timothy Michael   Madison, Daniel Joseph (Kristin) Fitchburg, and Joseph Robert (Marilu), Albuquerque, 6 grandchildren: Kelly Christine, Mary Katherine, Timothy Micheal, Renee Elizabeth, Robert Patrick, Joseph John; her special nephews Bradley John and Christopher James Stevens; and her special dogs Buddy & Lily. She was preceded in death by her parents.  The family thanks everyone who helped care for Pat.

A memorial service will be held at 7:00PM on Monday, December 21, 2015 at JOYCE-RYAN FUNERAL, 5701 Odana Road, Madison.  A visitation will be held from 4:00PM until time of service on Monday at the funeral home.

Visitation & Memorial Service

Monday December 21, 2015 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Joyce-Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services Madison, WI

Message from Alice Sanborn
December 16, 2015 8:58 PM
What great memories I have of Patty — hockey trips, Southside picnics and parties, all those hours in the stands, renewing friendships with her at Sannafrest picnics at Westmoreland. She was a wonderful lady. I am so sorry for your loss. Hugs to all.

Message from Gracie De Weeses(Monson) /maiden name (McFadden)
December 18, 2015 12:57 PM
As I look onto Pats sweet face in this memorial page, I recall all the years of knowing her.
She carried this warm smile with her whenever I would be in her presents. We became friends about 40 years earlier. Pat was fun to be around and would help in any situation.
She would push herself in these later years to be there for her Bridge friends, to be our partner in spite of her memory problems. She was and is a true friend to all that came across her path in life.
My prayers are with her family and husband, Bob.
My God be with you.
Gracie DeWeese

Message from Steve Gandolph
December 17, 2015 4:44 AM
Tim and Family my condolences. It is a difficult time of year to lose a loved one. I hope you can find peace this Holiday season. God bless you! >>> Steve Gandolph

Message from Tanya Niemi
December 17, 2015 9:37 AM
All my wonderful memories, thoughts, and prayers of “Joe’s Mom”/Pat being sent to the family. She was a sweet and courageous woman. Peace to her, and to all of you. Tanya

Message from Fr. Sal Cuccia
December 17, 2015 10:22 AM
Sorry to hear of Pat’s passing. May she rest in peace and happiness in God’s kingdom. She and all of you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Message from Bev Lystad
December 17, 2015 3:06 PM
I was so sorry to hear about Pat. She was truly one of the good people in this world. I was so glad to have known her. I’m sorry for your loss, Bob.

Message from Larry and Dee Landgraf

December 21, 2015 9:01 AM
Our sympathies are with you Bob ,and family, on this sad event. We send our heartfelt condolences!

Message from Dennis McGilligan
December 21, 2015 9:12 AM
Will miss cousin Pat. She was a caring, kind, loving, friendly cousin. She was older than me but growing up whenever I saw her she was friendly and nice and will be greatly missed by all her knew her. Rest in peace.

Message from Steve and Norma Donovan
December 21, 2015 6:47 PM
Our deepest sympathies to our longtime friend Bob and condolences to all the Gavigan family.