This service will be made available through ZOOM, on Tuesday at 10 a.m.
Zoom ID: 745-456-9017
Denis K. Coughlan – of Woburn, May 20th, at the age of ninety-three. Beloved husband of sixty years to Margaret Nuala Coughlan. Devoted and loving father of Kevin Coughlan, his wife Maureen of North Chelmsford, Mary McCarthy of West Roxbury, Claire Iannazzi of Fairfield, CT, Gerard Coughlan, his wife Karen of Cincinnati, OH. Cherished grandfather of Meghan and Matthew Coughlan, Danny McCarthy, Annie, Emily, and Kate Iannazzi, Benjamin and Molly Coughlan. Predeceased by his parents John and Margaret (O’Brien) Coughlan of Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland, and his twelve siblings. Also survived by many beloved nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. Due to the current situation we are experiencing with the Corona Virus, arrangements are private and under the direction of the Lynch – Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn.
Denis K. Coughlan, 93, a long-time resident of Woburn, passed away peacefully with family by his side on the morning of May 20th after a brief illness, just 23 days shy of his 94th birthday. He was the beloved husband of Margaret Nuala (O’Donovan) Coughlan, of Woburn, with whom he would have celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary on July 4th. Their life together was a true love story of devotion and support for each other.
Denis was born at home on the family farm in Bantry, County Cork, Ireland, in 1926, and grew up working on the farm with his brothers and sisters. He was the last surviving sibling of the thirteen. They would work their farm chores in the morning before walking to the Gurtycloona school, where Denis developed what would become a lifelong love of mathematics. Even then he was a quiet and determined young man. Unbeknownst to him, his future bride was also at the school several years behind him.
Upon arriving in Boston in 1949, Denis began working for the A&P, commencing a 32 year career. He was well-known in Woburn for years as the Meat Department manager at the A&P in the South End of town, where he was always ready with a welcoming smile and recommendation to help make a customer’s dinner table special. He served in the US Army Reserves from 1950-1956 attaining the rank of Sergeant First Class.
Denis attended the Bentley School of Accounting in Boston, and he was able to apply the skills he learned there in his duties managing for the A&P. After his career with the A&P he worked for a number of years at Kraft-General Foods (formerly Atlantic Gelatin) in Woburn.
Denis and Nuala met in the late fifties at an Irish dance in Boston, where a friend told Denis that there was a girl at the dance from his hometown. Although they did not know each other until then, they knew one another’s families, and they quickly fell for each other and married on July 4, 1959. They settled in the Central Square area of Woburn, where they lived for their entire marriage together. Through the years they enjoyed travel throughout the US and Europe, particularly their trips back home to visit Ireland, but above all Denis loved spending time in his backyard surrounded by his family and listening to the Red Sox on the radio.
Family was always of paramount importance to Denis. As he and Nuala started what would eventually become a family of four children, Denis took on the role he considered his most important one – that of loving and supportive husband and father. He joyfully shared in raising their children, and instilled in them his own love of math and music. He truly loved spending time with his children, and eventually his grandchildren, and especially enjoyed playing his accordion and singing Irish ballads and folk songs for them, often mixing up the words on purpose to get a rise out of them.
He was a man of deep and unwavering Catholic faith and was particularly devoted to the Virgin Mary. As a long-time communicant at St Anthony’s Church in North Woburn, he and Nuala contributed many years of service to the parish as Eucharistic ministers. During their times of happiness and celebration, this faith gave them an opportunity to give thanks, and during challenging times it provided them a source of great support and comfort.
Denis had a great sense of humor and dry wit. This would often take the form of telling (and retelling) some classic “Dad jokes” – of which he was the king before the term even became popular. He was always ready with a sincere smile and a lighthearted comment to lift someone’s spirits.
In his later years, Denis found great enjoyment in listening to the sounds of the neighborhood children laughing as they played in the street outside and was always ready with a wave and an occasional playful comment for them.
Denis and his wife developed many dear friends in Woburn — through their work, in their neighborhood, in meeting the parents of their children’s school friends, and later through their many social and volunteer engagements in and around Woburn. For many years, after they had both retired, they volunteered at Winchester Hospital, receiving cherished awards for their service.
The family would like to thank the many dear friends, neighbors, clinicians, and aides who provided such kind support and camaraderie to Denis, especially through his later years. He was a fine and gentle man, who showed immense patience and dignity in all situations, and was loved and respected by those in his life. We will miss him greatly.
In addition to his beloved wife Nuala of Woburn, Denis is survived by his adoring children Kevin Coughlan, his wife Maureen of North Chelmsford, Mary McCarthy of West Roxbury, Claire Iannazzi of Fairfield, CT, Gerard Coughlan, his wife Karen of Cincinnati, OH. Cherished grandfather of Meghan and Matthew Coughlan, Danny McCarthy, Annie, Emily, and Kate Iannazzi, Benjamin and Molly Coughlan. Predeceased by his parents John and Margaret (O’Brien) Coughlan of Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland, and his twelve siblings. Also survived by many beloved nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Francis House, 39 Boylston St, Boston, MA, 02116.
Service arrangements pending, please check back soon.