Thomas Joseph Coughlin, 90, died on December 25th, at Massachusetts General Hospital after a long life, well lived. He was surrounded by the love and support of his family, just as he liked it. Born on March 13, 1928 in Norwood, he was the oldest son of George and Alice (Ahearn) Coughlin. He was a lifelong resident of Walpole. He was the beloved husband of the late Alice (Raymond) Coughlin, until her death in 2005. They were married in St. Joan of Arc Church in Jackson Heights, NY on February 14, 1953.
Tom was a 1945 graduate of Walpole High School. He was a student-athlete and was most proud of being the manager for the state championship hockey team. He spent his spare time working on the family farm in Franklin, MA. In recent years, he helped organize many reunions of his class.
He was a 1949 graduate of the University of Maine, Orono, where is met his late wife, Alice. He was one of many U. Maine students who fought the great fire of 1947 in Bar Harbor, ME. He earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering and worked at Bird Machine after graduation. The US Army drafted him to serve during the Korean War, and he was stationed in Tokyo, Japan, in charge of communications, achieving the rank of sergeant. After serving his country Tom began work for the New England Telephone Company, retiring in 1990 after 37 years. Tom enjoyed traveling with Alice, his family and friends to many fascinating locations all over world.
Tom spent his life giving back to his community and causes that were important to him. After his youngest daughter was born with cystic fibrosis in 1958, he and Alice became involved in the MA Chapter of the CF Foundation. He served as President in the late 1960s and was on the Board of Directors for many years. He was chairman of Harvest Days at Blessed Sacrament and was instrumental in the church’s 100th year celebration. He served on the committee that celebrated Walpole’s 250 years as an incorporated town in 1979. He brought his Catholic faith with him everywhere and this was most evident when he took care of the Catholic church and its’ summer parishioners on the island of North Haven, Maine, where he and his family spent summers.
He is survived by his loving daughter, Eileen M. St. James, and her husband, Dana, of Mansfield, and his son, Thomas J. Coughlin, Jr. of Stow. His daughter, Diane Mitsock predeceased her beloved father. Tom was the beloved grandfather of Andrew (Becca), Kyle, Julianna, and Theresa St. James. He was the beloved brother of Edward V. Coughlin and his wife, Rachel, of San Diego, CA; Rosemary Smith and her husband, Lloyd, of Walpole; and the late Daniel F. Coughlin and his wife, Nancy, of Walpole. He is also survived by several cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Visiting hours are Wednesday, January 2, 2019 from 4 to 7 PM in the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common St., Walpole, MA. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Blessed Sacrament Church, 10 Diamond Street, Walpole on Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 10:00 AM. Interment will be this summer at the Fuller Cemetery, North Haven, Maine. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation MA/RI Chapter, 220 North Main Street, Suite 104, Natick, MA 01760.