John T. Riordan

1937 ∼ 2017

John T. Riordan

John T. Riordan died Friday, June 16th died at his home in Cotuit, MA. He was 80.

John is survived by his wife, Mary; their six children, Sheila Nugent, Patrick Riordan, Aidan Riordan, Meghan Jarvis, Brendan Riordan and Caitlin Riordan; and thirteen grandchildren.

He was married to Mary T. Fleming in 1966. They lived first in St. Louis, Mo where he was associated with the McGraw-Hill Book Company, and then in New Jersey where he worked at the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Beginning in 1968 they moved to Georgetown, Massachusetts when he joined Boston-based Houghton Mifflin Company where he held various editorial and executive positions including that of membership on its board of directors.

Like his wife, Riordan was a native of New Jersey where he attended Montclair State Teachers College (today Montclair State University) and of which he later became a founding Chair of the Advisory Council of the Colleges of the Humanities and the Social Sciences. He taught in the public schools of Princeton, New Jersey and at the collegiate level at the State of New York University of Cortland. He earned a Master’s Degree from Laval University in Quebec, Canada and the AMP Designation from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business.

In 1982 Riordan joined the International Council of Shopping Centers trade association (ICSC) where he rose to become President and CEO, leading its expansion over the twenty years to become one of the largest such organizations in the world with membership today in over 100 countries, many of which he visited, making many lasting friendships. Though ICSC’s headquarters was in New York City, the Riordans remained residents of Massachusetts. In 1996 they moved year-round to Cotuit where they had spent summers beginning in 1974.

Education was a central theme in Riordan’s personal and professional life. He enjoyed being introduced at speaking engagements as a “School Teacher Gone Wrong.” He was an eloquent public speaker, and when speaking abroad he frequently chose to deliver his remarks in the language of the country he was visiting. Riordan served on the boards of The Pike School (Andover, MA), the School for International Training of the Experiment in International Living (Brattleboro, VT), and Baruch College of the City University of New York. He was a founding member of The Center for Real Estate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and later served as Chairman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Real Estate. On his retirement from ICSC in 2003, the trade association named the schools for professional development Riordan had initiated for the association The John T. Riordan Schools, held annually in several locations around the world. He also served on the boards of directors of a number of corporations, most recently that of Ivanhoe Cambridge (Montreal, Quebec).

A visitation will be held at Christ the King Church 3 Job’s Fishing Rd. Mashpee, Ma on Monday June 26, 2017 from 10AM to 11AM. A funeral mass will follow in the church at 11:00AM. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Christ the King Parish, P.O. Box 1800 Mashpee, Ma 02649 or The Cotuit Library, 871 Main St. Cotuit, MA 02635. Contact information for members of the Riordan Family is available through Chapman Cole & Gleason Funeral Homes Falmouth, MA.

For live streaming of John's Funeral Mass on Monday June 26th please visit


Monday, June 26, 2017
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Christ the King Catholic Parish
Address & Directions


Monday, June 26, 2017 | 11:00 AM

Christ the King Catholic Parish
Address & Directions


Christ the King Parish, P.O. Box 1800 Mashpee, Ma 02649 or The Cotuit Library, 871 Main St. Cotuit, MA 02635

John T. Riordan

1937 ∼ 2017

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