Posted: March 26, 2012

DICK McGettigan was a fun-loving Irishman who never hesitated to get out on the dance floor when the music was playing or to belt out a ballad in his robust voice.

He was an avid music fan, favoring jazz, big bands and swing, and tried not to miss a parade of military pomp. His favorite vocalist was Ella Fitzgerald.

Richard J. McGettigan, a nearly 35-year investigator with the Department of Defense Personnel Support Center, helping to stop contract fraud and bribery, a man with a nonstop Irish wit who especially loved to entertain children, died March 21 of congestive heart failure. He was 83 and lived in Upper Darby.

Before he went with the Defense Supply Center, in South Philadelphia, in 1965, he was an investigator for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. He also worked for a few years later in life as a court officer at the Delaware County Court House, in Media.

When he retired from the government, Dick was branch chief of procurement analysis, which means he was a watchdog over government contracts. Once in a while, a potential contractor would try to ease his way into a deal with a bribe, and Dick McGettigan would be there to put a stop to it.

Over one six-year period, he helped uncover a total of $64 million in thefts by contractors, and often testified at trials. He occasionally worked with the FBI on investigations.

With ASCAP, he traveled the country ferreting out copyright violations in the music industry.

He met his wife, the former Jeannette Iannettoni, on a blind date and proposed to her in Sea Isle City, N.J., one of the family's favorite summer destinations. They were marred in 1954.

He was a longtime member of the Marine Corps Reserves.

Dick was born in Philadelphia, the eighth of the nine children of Joseph E. McGettigan Sr., a Philadelphia police officer, and the former Mary Quigley.

He graduated from West Catholic High School, where he was an outstanding basketball player and a competitive swimmer.

Over the years, he took business and other courses to further his education. He was well-versed in investment options and tax laws, and prepared income-tax returns to supplement his income.

"He was highly intelligent, and a great conversationalist," said his daughter Karin. "He could talk to anybody about anything. He would make you feel comfortable.

"He was a fun person. He loved having fun. He liked to entertain little kids, showing them tricks. He got a kick out of that."

At parties, Dick would captivate his listeners with great stories, and, when taking his leave of friends, he would quip, "The pleasure has been all yours." And usually it was.

Besides his wife and daughter, he is survived by three other daughters, Maureen F., Deirdre Henry and Megan Rolli; two sons, John F. McGettigan II and Neil J. McGettigan II; a brother, Neil J. McGettigan; and four grandchildren.

Services: Funeral Mass 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Francis de Sales Church, 47th Street and Springfield Avenue. Friends may call at 6 p.m. Monday and 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Logan Funeral Home, 57 S. Eagle Road, Havertown. Burial will be in Ss. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Marple.

Contact John F. Morrison at 215-854-5573 or, or follow on Twitter @johnfmorrison

comments powered by Disqus