Michael Thomas Corgan died unexpectedly at Cape Cod Hospital on Tuesday, November 20 from complications following a successful surgery for cancer.
He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Sallie K. Riggs of Falmouth, daughters Kathleen Catalano-Corgan (and Francis Catalano) and grandson, Roman Hendrix Catalano of Cortlandt Manor NY, daughter Jennifer Corgan (and Gregory Beauchamp) of Venice, CA, step-daughters, Aja Riggs (and Nicola Redfern) of Santa Fe, NM and Susan Riggs of Johnston, RI, and sister Catherine Guinn of Detroit, MI and brother Robert of Alexandria, VA.
Mike was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1941 to Francis Hugh Corgan and Catherine Sands Corgan. He grew up in Germany and several cities in the United States as an “army brat.” The early experience of living in Germany sparked an interest in international affairs which guided his later careers.
A graduate of the US Naval Academy, Mike served in the Navy for an additional 26 years, including two tours in Viet Nam and several assignments to teach at the US Naval Academy, the National War College and the United States War College in Newport, RI. Among other medals, he was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Viet Nam.
Following his retirement from the Navy, Mike earned a PhD, awarded with highest distinction, from Boston University where he was Associate Professor of International Relations at the time of his death. He was awarded the Frank and Lynne Wisneski Award for Excellence in Teaching and several excellence in teaching awards from the Naval War College, among other awards.
In 2001 Mike was granted a Fulbright Fellowship and was appointed Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik. He was invited back to teach at the University twice more.
Mike lived his life with intellect and humor. His prodigious memory enabled him to enter into any discussion with historical facts and relevant anecdotes, which he used to weave together history, the present political scene, and any number of academic subjects. His sense of humor kept it all at a human level.
His main hobbies were classical music, both the music itself and his audio systems, and model railroad trains. Late in life he jumped into the new position of dog owner enjoying his two black standard poodles, Andre for almost twelve years and Bernard who slept on Mike’s bed until the end. His home in Falmouth was the 30th house he lived in, and he was here for 27 years, feeding the birds, walking the beach and the Bourne Farm, and learning to garden.
His family and his many friends and colleagues in the United States, Iceland and several other countries will find it hard to fill the gap that he has left in our lives and will always remember his outgoing spirit and gregarious nature.
Visiting hours - Sunday, November 25, 12:00 – 2:00, Chapman Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 584 W. Falmouth Hwy (Route 28A), West Falmouth, MA 02540.
Mass - Monday, November 26, 11:30 am, Saint Elizabeth Seton Church, 481 Quaker Rd, North Falmouth, MA 02556, followed by burial at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.