John, the son of J.J. and Hazel (Partington) Berigan ,was born Dec. 17, 1930 in Omaha, Neb. John attended St. Mary's Academy, O'Neill, Neb., graduating in 1948. He graduated from the University of Nebraska with a BME in 1952, and received a Master of Music in 1966.
John taught in several Nebraska public schools, at the University of Nebraska, and Nebraska Wesleyan University. He was best known for his work as a professional musician, playing with many orchestras and bands traveling the Midwest corridor. He played saxophone and clarinet with the Al Pierson Orchestra out of Chicago, and most recently with Eddie Skeets, Greg Spevak, Tuxedo Junction, and Wayne Roepke Orchestras.
Classically trained, John performed any genre of music from orchestra to big band, "old time" and show band venues. He was truly versatile at his craft.
John was also a talented music arranger, sharing this gift abundantly with his church. He also generously shared his ability with many band leaders, educators and students. John was an active adjudicator in Nebraska and Iowa, judging the first jazz band competition in the state of Iowa.
John was a mentor to many young people during his lifetime, and he was willing to fully share his abilities with them.
John also enjoyed his heritage as a Nebraska rancher, having many stories to tell about haying in the hot summer sun.
On June 20, 1981, John married Betty K. Meisinger in Cherokee. John was a member of Knights of Columbus and Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, serving on the parish council. He was a member of the University of Nebraska Lincoln marching band, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Gamma Lambda. He also served on the Sanford Museum Board.
John was an avid Chicago Cubs fan, always keeping the faith that next year would be "the one." He was known for his quick wit, love of words, Irish humor, and beloved canines.
John was preceded in death by his parents and his in-laws, Clyde and Idabell Meisinger. He is survived by his wife of thirty years, Betty; sister-in-law Janelle Halliwell and her husband Warren of Moncks Corner, S.C.; and a host other relatives and friends.