We Make Connecticut Happen

In Memoriam: Don Haggerty


Don Haggerty, a longtime union activist and leader within our AFSCME Local 1303 municipal union, died Aug. 16 at age 61.

Don served on the Executive Board of Local 1303, including a brief terms as President. Local 1303 includes more than 7,000 municipal and board of education employees under the Council 4 banner.

Born and raised in Willimantic, Don was President of Local 1303-234, representing Region 19 School Custodians and Technicians. He was the head custodian at E.O. Smith High School in Mansfield.

A soulful and community-minded man, Don was a talented guitarist and vocalist. His group Original Recipe played at our Council 4 Veterans Picnic every year to the delight of the veterans who loved his rock and blues riffs. He volunteered to help the Willimantic Boom Box Parade and other celebrations.

He also supported local fire fighters, and shared his love of vintage fire trucks at various public events.

Don was fiercely dedicated to the labor movement, whether the fight concerned AFSCME members or other workers, unionized or not. We remember seeing his photo on the front page of the Willimantic Chronicle, speaking against efforts by the Board of Education to outsource the work of Windham school cafeteria workers represented by CSEA.

Don wasn't loud and didn't seek the limelight. Whether advocating for workers, veterans or students, he simply lived the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Our deepest sympathies go out to Don's wife Doris and his their family, including seven children.

Click here to read Don's obituary.

Don’s family will receive relatives and friends on Tuesday August 22, 2017 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at the Potter Funeral Home, 456 Jackson St. (Rte. 195), Willimantic. A graveside service will be held on Wednesday August 23, 2017 at 11:00am at the Windham Center Cemetery, Rte. 203 Windham Center.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Willimantic Fire Fighters Local 1033; P.O. Box 115, Willimantic, CT 06266.

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