Judge Francis J. Darigan Jr

Inducted: 2018
Born: 1942

Judge Frank Darigan was born on September 21, 1942 to a South Providence Irish-Catholic family. He never severed his roots. Of the many Hall of Fame inductees from Providence’s South Side, Frank’s nearly six decades of volunteer social service to his neighborhood is unmatched by any of these honorees.
Darigan served as a judge of the District Court for 7½ years and as an associate justice of the Superior Court from June 28, 1991 to February 29, 2012. In the state’s highest trial court he presided in all counties on both civil and criminal calendars and on many judicial committees. He has also been an adjunct professor of law at Providence College and Roger Williams University, and the first chairman of Justice Assistance from 1978 to 1982.
For me, Frank’s six decades of devotion to his neighborhood and its diverse people is equally impressive. After graduation from Bishop Tyler School in his Cathedral Parish where he served as an altar boy for Bishop Russell McVinney, he studied at LaSalle Academy (Class of 1960) and then at Providence College (Class of 1964).
During his collegiate years, he began his endless career of community service as a youth counselor at the Plain Street Recreation Center and as coach of the Cathedral CYO boys’ basketball team that won the New England Championship in 1964. Frank was also president of his parish’s Catholic Youth Organization and became national president of the 7 million-member CYO from 1961 to 1963. In 1964, he was designated “Most Outstanding Young Adult in the United States” by the National Council of Catholic Youth.
Frank’s connection with South Providence was severed very briefly by military service in Virginia from 1965 to 1967, but upon discharge from active duty he served as a reserve officer with the Army’s 76th Division, retiring in 1975 with the rank of captain.
After leaving active military duty, Frank married Alexandra Hope Kingscote, entered Suffolk University School of Law, and received his Juris Doctor in 1971. Then he augmented his political science degree from PC by earning a master’s degree in public administration from URI in 1974. From 1971 to 1975, he represented the Ninth Ward (Elmwood, South Providence, and Washington Park) as a member of the Providence City Council rising to the post of deputy majority leader.
Frank’s South Side activities included (but were not limited to) the Institute for the Study and Practice of Non-Violence of which he was a founding member, Elmwood Neighborhood Housing Services, St. Michael’s Council, Knights of Columbus (Grand Knight), and the Bishop McVinney Regional School. He continues as a sustaining member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church serving on its parish council and its finance committee since 1980 and as its lay trustee from 1990 to the present. He is the major link between the South Side’s illustrious past and its hopeful future.
Frank and Hope are the parents of four children: Melissa, John, Michael, and Christopher. He has received a litany of awards during his distinguished career. The grantors include La Salle Academy, Providence College, the Rhode Island Bar Association, and Justice Assistance. His Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame induction is a fitting complement to those high honors.
(Dr.) Patrick T. Conley

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