Obituary of Richard Coughlan
Richard ("Dick") Coughlan died peacefully at home March 12, 2023 surrounded by family. Prior to his passing, he marveled at all the people who had called and visited him. It was noted that he was loved by many people to which Richard responded, "It would appear that way. I am either very lucky or they are morons." He leaves a huge hole in the hearts of his children, grandchildren, family and friends—all of whom were endlessly entertained by his stories and wit.
Richard was born to Michael and Nora (nee Keating) Coughlan in Skibbereen, Cork. In his youth, he was a superb Irish footballer and hurler with a remarkably hard head, as it turns out. In one game, he scored a goal and a point after suffering a concussion that left him without any memory of that game—except that he scored a goal and a point.
Shortly after receiving an honorable discharge from the U.S. Airforce, Richard married Hannah (“Viola”) McEvoy and went to work at United Airlines for the next 37 years. Richard was married to Viola for 45 years and, truth be told, her incessant talking irked him sometimes; but Viola’s Lucille Ball-type charm and enchanting sense of play delighted him—especially when it resulted in Wade Boggs buying them a few rounds of drinks after a Red Sox/Yankee game.
Whether it was watching the Red Sox, throwing strikes for 19 years as the pitcher for United Airlines’ softball team, or beating anyone who played him at “25”—Richard loved watching and playing all kinds of sports & games. He was an athlete who, in memory of his beloved grandson, Liam, completed his first marathon at age 60.
Richard relished beating his cherished grandkids at boardgames as much as he did watching them play soccer and basketball. He was grateful to be able to see both granddaughters play Division-I college soccer—Caitlyn at SUNY Albany and Ciara at NJIT. One regret Richard expressed was that he would not see grandson Colin’s first season at Ithaca nor Declan’s final high-school season. He did warn, however, that he would be there in spirit.
Richard is preceded in death by his wife Viola, brothers Patrick and Michael, sister-in-law Evelyn, and grandson Liam. Richard is survived by daughters Patricia and her husband Jim, and Kathleen; son, William; and grandchildren: Caitlyn, Ciara, Colin, and Declan. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, family and friends and by his slightly older, twin brother, Jerry.
When Richard was asked what he would say to Jerry if he were to be the one to welcome Jerry into heaven, he said “I’ll tell him to come on in!” When asked what Jerry would be likely to say if he made it to the pearly gates first, Richard said Jerry would say, “it’s about time.”
The funeral will be held on 18 March at 12 pm at Immaculate Conception. Burial will follow at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be sent to The Church of the Immaculate Conception, 30 North Fullerton Avenue Montclair, NJ 07042.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard Coughlan, please visit Tribute Store