September 23, 1933 – February 24, 2023
Tom Mulligan was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the third of ten children. Tom attended St. Alphonsus grade school and high school in Langdon, North Dakota, where he played basketball, baseball, and football.
In 1953, Tom left St. John’s University in Minnesota for the U.S. Army and served in the Far East with the 82nd Field Artillery Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, until 1955. After playing football in the Army and Phoenix College, he met Maria Teresa de Blas from Caracas, Venezuela. They married in 1957 at the end of his first year of Marquette Dental School, where he received his D.D.S. In 1962, he graduated from Indiana University with a M.S.D. in Orthodontics, opening the door to his lifelong love and career of treating patients in private practice in Phoenix, Arizona, for 55 years.
Tom’s passion for the biomechanics of dentistry led to an incredible life of lecturing and teaching while still maintaining his private practice. In all he gave over 600 lectures and University courses in 32 countries on the subject. His publications on biomechanics include 25 articles in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, numerous articles in U.S. and foreign journals, and 3 books.
Tom’s family life was well lived. He and Teresa loved their 6 sons, 2 daughters, 22 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, and all the spouses. He shared the joys of life with them through his love of flying, sailing, boating, and countless trips to San Diego and Mexico. He was a lover of people, always quick to start up a conversation with anyone, and loved to put a smile on their face – a true person who saw everyone as his equal.
However, more than anything, Tom loved God and lived his Catholic faith. He was always there to help and support the needy, especially the unborn. Through this devout man and daily Mass attendee, Heaven just gained another smiling soul.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to The Society of St. Vincent de Paul – St. Francis Xavier Conference, Catholic Charities/MANA House for Veterans, or the Building Fund at St Rose Philippine Duchesne Catholic Community in Anthem.
Rosary prayers will begin at 5:00pm followed by a funeral Mass at 5:30pm on Friday, March 3, 2023 at Brophy Chapel, 4701 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix. Burial will take place the following day on Saturday, March 4, 2023 at 10:00am at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery, 2033 N. 48th Street, Phoenix. Condolences may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com
MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU ALL , MY DEAR AUNT TERESA AND AMAZING COUSINS❤️ I LOOK FORWARD TO GIVING YOU GENTLE HUGS IN A FEW DAYS❤️ MY HUBBY SCOTT AND THE ENTIRE MCELROY FAMILY WILL BE WITH YOU IN SPIRIT❤️
Brian R Corbin
Dear Mulligan Family,
To Paul and his entire family —
Our deepest sympathy and condolences to you at this time. We know that now he dances with God.
Brian Corbin, Donna DeBlasio (Alexandria, VA), Maurice & Carolyn Corbin (Phoenix)
I never met Tom but I am sure he is looking down from heaven still proud of the family he left behind to keep doing the Lord’s work. I only met one of his sons but knowing that the apple never falls far from the tree, he must been one great soul.
Marina de Blas
To Davicito and his family,
From Barcelona we send our sincere condolences to you. Our hearts go out to you at this sad time. May the memory of your father bring you comfort and peace.
Un enorme y cariñoso abrazo,
Toni, Marina, Joana & Roger
Harry Switzer DDS
Please accept my sincere condolence in your loss of Tom.He was a close friend at Phöenix College.I met his dad when they lived at Central and Missouri.He was at Indiana University while I was in dental school at St Louis University.Tom took care of many of my patients.He was truly a wonderful man and a great dentist. Harry Switzer
Dear Paul and beloved Mulligan family,
Please accept our deepest and sincerest condolences for the loss of your precious Tom. May the angels come to greet him and his memories be a blessing to all of you.
God’s peace be with each of you,
Warmest thoughts and prayers,
Marisue and Jack Garganta
I will always remember Dr. Mulligan’s great sense of humor and his upbeat personality. I saw all of his best qualities reflected in one of my good friends, his son, David Mulligan rest in peace, Dr. Mulligan.
Charlene Mills Lewis
I was sorry to hear about Tom. He was responsible for our three children having great smiles and because of the congenial atmosphere in the office my not minding spending a lot of time there.. I still remember your beautiful wedding and my thoughts and prayers are with you now.
Donna and Mark Muesch
Tom, Linda and all the Mulligan Family,
So sorry to hear about your Dad’s passing.
He lived a great life.
May you find peace in all the wonderful memories he has left you
Peace and love,
Donna and Mark
To Teresa and the Mulligan Family,
I was very sorry to hear of Dr. Mulligan’s passing. Hector and I always enjoyed his company, conversations, and friendship at SFX. He was very thoughtful and kind. May you have wonderful memories, and may he rest in heavenly peace. Love and prayers,
Melanie (Johnson) Brungard
What a wonderful memorial obituary! My sincerest condolences and loving thoughts to all of the Mulligan Family members! You’re all in my thoughts and prayers! Dr. Thomas Mulligan was my high school Orthodontist. His niece, Shelly, and I were classmates at Xavier. My mother and I loved how well he took care of me while I was his patient. He truly cared about my appearance; he temporarily removed my braces so I could compete in the Miss United Teenager pageant, he helped sponsor me during the pageant, and then he permanently removed my braces right before I took my senior portraits. He was a great person who truly cared about his patients and loved his family. Heaven is blessed and I’m sure he was welcomed with opened arms and hearts Melanie (Johnson) Brungard
Linda and Craig Cooper
We appreciated the kindness and care we received from Dr. Mulligan and Teresa. All four of our children were treated by Dr. Mulligan, and it was always a pleasure to go into his office. Our sincere condolences go out to the family.
The Cooper Family
David & Roxanne Brown
David & I did not have the opportunity of knowing Dr. Mulligan personally, but have had the privilege of meeting some of his incredible children. Based on those acquaintances, and reading about his life of service, we honor him and wish his family to know of our prayers and support on their behalf.
Patty Bayham Mazier
Dear Teresa and entire Mulligan family:
I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you all as you move through the days to come. Memories are great but its not the same has having your husband, dad, and grandfather with you in person at all of your life events. Dr. Mulligan lived a life pleasing to God and I have no doubt that he is with his Creator and those in your family who have passed before him. I bet Fr. Blas met him at the gates. He is with you in spirit and you all will continue to make him smile. May his soul and the soul of all the faithfully departed rest in peace.
Katharine Halpin and Bonnie Meyer
Sending love and prayers for you all.
Tom and Teresa were fabulous next door neighbors at the Regency on Central. When we first moved there in 2016 we would only see Tom as he came and went from his 5 mile walks to St Francis for daily mass and perhaps in the party room.
As his walks shortened we saw him more often and he would sometimes knock on our door to visit or share a treasure with us about the power of doubling Pennies to get to $1.6 million in a month or a computer mouse shaped award he had received over the years when he contributed so generously to his profession.
We visited Tom and Teresa a few times after they moved from ROC to Merrill Gardens and even got to see them in October 2022 after we had relocated to be closer to family in Mississippi.
We enjoyed a nice visit and were able to attend one of Tom’s music enrichment program at Merrill Gardens with Teresa.
Tom will remain fondly in our hearts. We are praying for Teresa during this difficult transition after 65 years of marriage but I know she is comforted by all the great memories, their beautiful family and her wide circle of friends and cookie/muffin recipients
To the Mulligan family,
I am so very sorry. I will always hold dear memories of Dr. Mulligan in my heart. He was always so sweet to us Xavier girls who came over to hang around. May he enjoy all the ice cream he desires in Heaven.
Love and prayers from
Mike and Gina (Forzano) Buldra
Lucinda Bliss and Ted Engdall
Teresa and family, we were saddened to hear of Tom’s passing just yesterday evening, but know he is still with you and happy in Heaven taking his long walks and entertaining everyone with his stories. He was a lovely man and we enjoyed being a neighbor at the Regency.
Uncle Tom Mulligan,
A Titan of a man. He stacked His hours with Powerful minutes.
Michael Sean McElroy
Dr. Jack Hockel
Dear Teresa and family,
We know that Tom has always had a special place reserved for him in heaven, but I will continue to include him in my daily Mass prayers.
We received the news of his passing with sadness because he was such a good friend and excellent teacher!!
God has blessed you, and all of us, with having known such a great Catholic man!!
Dr. Jack Hockel