Donald F. Haggerty

Donald F. Haggerty

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It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Donald F. Haggerty, 73, on April 4, 2020.
Donald was born on August 6, 1946 in Brooklyn, NY to Donald and Alice (Murphy) Haggerty. Donald had two daughters Shanon and Doniele, which he shared with his former spouse, Mary Anne Wilson, who pre-deceased him. He later married, Bethania Medina and although they divorced, he loved until the day he died, as well as her children, Osmunda, Junior and Tomas.
Don was a Yonkers Police Officer for 26 years. His police history is detailed below by retired Deputy Chief and friend, George Rutledge. Besides being a Police Officer, Don was an Exercise Physiologist. You could ask him anything about any part of your body and he would have the answer. He also loved fishing, The Soprano’s, Ray Donovan and telling off-colored jokes. Our dad was larger than life and a great story teller. He would say to us “You know big and little (his nicknames for us) when you are dead, you don’t know you are dead. It is difficult only for the others. It’s the same thing when you are stupid.” He clearly had a great sense of humor.
Below is the excerpt written by George Rutledge.
Donald Haggerty was appointed to the Y.P.D. on Mar 7, 1969 while residing at 145 Winnebago Road. He received his police recruit training at the Iona College campus in New Rochelle. On April 25, 1969, following recruit graduation, Prob. Ptl. Don Haggerty was assigned to patrol duty in the 2nd pct. earning a starting salary of $7,000.

On Jan. 1, 1971, following the implementation of a precinct centralization plan where two precincts were closed and two were re named, PO Haggerty was transferred to patrol in the North Patrol Command at 53 Shonnard Place. The following year, on June 23, 1972, Don’s request was approved and he was reassigned to two wheel motorcycle duty in the Traffic Division. Don was the epitome of a spit and polish traffic cop. He was physically a well built officer with large arms, the result of long hours in the gym. And his uniform was always tailored to perfection.

On Jan. 1, 1979, PO Haggerty, along with many in Traffic, was detailed to the patrol commands but continued with traffic duties. Six months later Haggerty was detailed to the Street Crime Unit for special duty. Exactly one year following his detail to the North Command, on Jan. 1, 1980, Don was returned to Traffic. However, due to the untimely death of Training officer Ron O’Rourke, Haggerty was transferred to the Training Division as O’Rourke’s replacement.

Following training he was designated a state certified instructor and was, with others, responsible for the in service training for all members of the YPD, as well as the recruit training for new police recruits. Having a strong interest in how to keep the human body physically fit, and feeling there was more he could do, Don attended Lehman College in the Bronx, while off duty, studying anatomy and physiology. It was about this time he noticed a large unused room in the basement of the 1st pct and his plan to establish a Gymnasium for police officers began. With the help of many, especially Det. Joe Surlak, the police gym became a reality.

While still in the Training Division Don was himself trained and then certified as a DCJS/FBI certified firearms instructor. He graduated from the S & W Academy in Mass. and in time gained "Judicial Notice" as a firearms identification and operations expert for NYS. Don also served as the YPD range master and armorer. And, for 5 years he was the defensive tactics instructor for the zone 3 police academy for police recruits throughout the county. Keep in mind all this was at the same time that Don had been serving as the YPD physical fitness instructor and establishing our very first police gym. Don often trained family members of officers as well as helping officers with cardiac rehab programs.

At one point Don was reassigned to the PAL where he established a co-ed physical fitness program for the underprivileged children of Yonkers ages 12 to 14 years. PO Haggerty retired from the YPD PAL on May 4, 1995. His reflective thoughts years after retiring? ……… "I loved the job and the men and women I worked with. I'm proud to have created something that will live on after I’m gone: that being the YPD Gym."

Don is survived by his daughters, Shanon, Doniele and son-in-law Michael Curley and four grandchildren, Declan, Braden, Erin and Emily. As well as, Bethania, Osmunda, Junior and Tomas.
Until we meet again Daddy, we love you.
On a finally note, my dad had expressed this last sentiment, “That’s All Folks.”
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Mount Hope Cemetery
    50 Jackson Ave (Jackson Ave at, Saw Mill River Rd)
    Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the funeral services for Donald Haggerty will be held privately. The Haggerty family thanks you for your kind thoughts and prayers. A celebration of his life will be scheduled at a later date and posted to this website.

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Private Condolence


Posted at 08:24pm
My sincere condolences to Don’s daughters that he adored & cherished, and to all he loved. I worked with Don for over 10 years as the Supervising Inspector at the NYS Gaming Commission. Don’s MO was always to accomplish the mission in a professional manner that never jeopardized anyone’s health or well being. He always would first asked how you & your family we’re doing . He loved his boxing sport. And, was just about the funniest guy with a joke to remind you to chill out. He made our Yonkers better than he found it. Sincerely, PaulDosSantos

Larissa Moskowitz

Posted at 05:09pm
Shanon and Doniele I’m so sorry for your loss. Your dad was always stepping up to serve his community even in retirement as our board president. He will be dearly missed. It seems like a lifetime ago that I got to babysit for you two.

Kathy Murphy

Posted at 06:23pm
Dear Shanon, Doniele and family. My sincere condolences for the loss of your dad. Thinking of you at this difficult time. I am so going to miss my cousin Donald. The phone calls, the jokes, the good advice. Rest in peace Cuz.

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