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Obituaries

Peter M. Harrigan, 53; Veteran Journalist, Times Design Editor

July 14, 2002

Peter Michael Harrigan, a lifelong journalist who worked for both the Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register, died in his sleep of a heart attack early Saturday morning. He was 53.

Harrigan grew up in the newspaper business in Colebrook, N.H., where he was born. His father was publisher there of the News and Sentinel, a weekly newspaper now run by his brother, John. Harrigan began his newspaper career delivering papers, working as a "printer's devil" and eventually filling in as editor of the small, rural newspaper from time to time.

He attended Mount Herman School in Northfield, Mass., before studying at Harvard University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in American government in 1971.

Following graduation, he was drafted into the Army and was stationed in South Korea.

After his discharge, Harrigan returned to New Hampshire, where he worked six years as a reporter for the Union Leader in Manchester.

In the winter of 1979, he took his wife, Kay, and their then-4 1/2-year-old daughter, Sarah, on a six-month, cross-country odyssey and job search that brought them to Orange County, where he took an editing position with the Register, which he left in 1983 to join The Times.

Yearning to return to Asia, in 1989 he took an editing position in Tokyo with Pacific Stars and Stripes, a daily tabloid published for U.S. servicemen in Asia.

He returned to The Times in 1996 as a design editor, helping to select and place news stories throughout the first two sections of the paper in Orange County.

His heart attack was unexpected, according to his wife, who said he was health-conscious and had regular physical exams. An avid runner, he took part every year in the Heart & Sole Walk/Run benefiting the American Heart Assn.

He is survived by his wife, Kay, and daughter Rachel, both of Tustin; daughter Sarah of San Jose; a brother, John, of Colebrook, N.H.; and sisters Susan, of New York City, and Mary, of Colebrook, N.H.

Arrangements for a memorial service are pending at Saddleback Chapel Mortuary, 220 E. Main St., Tustin, (714) 544-1450.

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