Obituary for John Coughlin
John Francis (Jack) Coughlin
Colonel United States Air Force (Retired)
Beloved Husband, Father, and Grandfather
Colonel John Francis Coughlin, a 26-year veteran of the United States Air Force, died peacefully at Lowell General Hospital, Friday, January 24, 2014, surrounded by his loving wife and family.
Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, the son of John F., and Mary (Reynolds) Coughlin, the Colonel attended parochial schools in that city. He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA (class of 1938) and Babson College, Waltham, MA.
Jack’s service in the Air Force included duty on five continents. Jack was a pilot, co-pilot, and navigator, flying a Mitchell B-25 bomber. He served in North Africa during World War II, with missions thwarting General Erwin Rommel and his desert brigade. His bomber group was instrumental in raids on Tubruk, Libya, and the Ploesti Oil fields in Italy. He was shot down once, but was saved from captivity by the Free French Brigade in the Mediterranean. After the war, Jack continued service in the Air Force, including a four-year assignment to the Secretary of the Air Force’s Office of Public Affairs at the Pentagon in Washington, DC.
Jack leaves his loving and adoring wife of 62 years, Ruth (Bourque) Coughlin, his daughter Carmel (Coughlin) Donoghue and her husband, Kenneth, of Harvard, MA, and John Francis Coughlin III and his wife Donna (Masse) Coughlin, of Litchfield, NH. He is also survived by five wonderful grandchildren, Cailin (Donoghue) Chenelle and her husband Brendan of Littleton, MA, J. Conor Donoghue of New Haven, CT, John Coughlin IV, Tyler Coughlin, and Meaghan Coughlin of Litchfield, NH. He also leaves a brother, James Coughlin of Holyoke, MA. Jack was predeceased by a brother, Edward Coughlin of Holyoke, MA and Saratoga, FL. He also leaves behind dear nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation will be held at the BLAKE FUNERAL HOME, 24 Worthen Street, CHELMSFORD on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 from 4 until 7 pm. A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Mary Church, 25 North Road, Chelmsford on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 11:00 am, where Jack served as lector and extraordinary minister for many years. He adored his faith and found comfort surrounded by it throughout his years.
Interment in Pine Ridge Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Jack’s memory may be made to: Catholic TV, 34 Chestnut Street, Watertown, MA 02471, attention: Father Reed. Or donate to a charity of your choice.