William W. Teahan Jr., 72: Distinguished judge put family first

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CUMBERLAND — William W. Teahan Jr., 72, died Dec. 6 at Maine Medical Center, after a brief illness.

Teahan was born Nov. 12, 1942, in Holyoke, Massachusetts, to William W. Teahan and and Marcella Moran Teahan. He graduated from Deerfield Academy, Dartmouth College and Boston College Law School. He then served as a lieutenant at the U. S. Army Intelligence Center at Fort Holabird, Maryland.

After his admission to the Massachusetts bar, Teahan joined the law firm of Moran & Moran, a Springfield, Massachusetts, firm founded by his grandfather and headed by his uncles. He went on to become an assistant district attorney and later chief assistant district attorney in Hampden County, Massachusetts. He played an active role in continuing legal education and authored numerous articles on criminal law.

In 1988, he was appointed a judge of the Massachusetts District Court by Gov. Michael Dukakis. Teahan became regional administrative judge of the District Court of Western Massachusetts and vice chairman of the Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct, before retiring in 2008.

Teahan was known for carrying out his duties with calm and good humor, grounded by his happy home life, modest personal habits and understanding of American history.

But the law, as important as it was to him, occupied only a small part of Teahan’s attention. Much more important to him was family, including his wife of 49 years, Mary Disbro (Chum) Teahan, their children and grandchildren. Despite longstanding roots in western Massachusetts, Teahan and his wife eventually moved to Cumberland Foreside to be closer to them.

After dealing with the grit of criminal law, Teahan found joy in playing games with his grandkids, nieces and nephews. He had an uncanny ability to get along with young children, and they fondly recall the fun they shared with him.

Teahan also enjoyed gardening, walks on the beach, and taking day trips with his wife to historic places. An avid reader, he also enjoyed visiting bookstores and discussing his finds with others.

Teahan is survived by his wife; their children, William W. Teahan III, of Denver, and Kate Teahan Whipple and her husband, Steve Whipple, of Yarmouth; grandchildren, Sam Whipple and Elizabeth Whipple; four brothers and sisters, Mary-Eileen Conner, Vincent L. Teahan, Marcella Teahan Hovancsek and Harry M. Teahan; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, colleagues and friends.

In accordance with Teahan’s wishes, there will be no funeral.

For those who wish, donations may be made in his memory to the Cumberland/North Yarmouth Food Pantry, 290 Tuttle Road, Cumberland, ME 04021.

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