John R. Coughlin Sr.
KENNEBUNKPORT -- John R. Coughlin Sr., 86, of Hoyt's Neck on Granite Point, Maine, formerly of Keene and Swanzey, New Hampshire, died Friday, October 14, 2016, surrounded by his four children and other loving relatives. John's achievements were unforeseeable. Born and raised on Somerville Street in Manchester, N.H., John was required to provide for himself at an early age, losing both of his parents, Charles and Margaret (Conway) Coughlin, during his teenage years. Both of his brothers also died young - Robert in World War II when John was 12, and then Dennis, his last living relative, before he was 40. This obligation to independently survive, invent, adapt, achieve, and rather quickly and adeptly, prosper, became the passion and focus of his life. He helped to raise four children, nurtured their lives, proudly sent them all to college, and assisted them during the advent and throughout their own careers. John ultimately gained a prominent reputation as a man one could rely and lean upon in hard times, and enjoy the good times with. John's charming, gregarious and engaging personality, as well as his keen intellect and trustworthy nature, resulted in many diverse accomplishments. He graduated from Saint Joseph's High School and Saint Anselm College in 1952. He then began attending law school at Boston University, but prior to completing his degree, he enrolled in the Army, choosing to serve his country in the Korean War. Upon his return, he married Carolyn (Hoben) Beecher, and they moved to Keene, where John founded and served for many years as the CEO of the highly successful Bank & Insurance Service Company, providing life insurance services to the customers of financial institutions, banks, car dealerships, and other businesses throughout New England. At the same time, John also established a well known real estate company, was elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives, served on the boards of several banks in both New Hampshire and later in Maine, where, with incredible foresight in 1969, he and Carolyn purchased a large cottage for their family on Drakes Island. This classic beach house continues to be enjoyed as a meaningful connecting gathering place for his children, and now their children, fostering their strong loving relationships. John later married Chris (Cristiano) Coughlin, who later predeceased him, and they moved to Kennebunkport in the 1980s, where John "retired" at a relatively young age, and established "Port Antiques," enjoying selling fine furniture and jewelry to both tourists and residents. The more he talked and began to know them, the more they bought and enjoyed him. Since then, over the last 30 years, John proudly enjoyed his time living in his extended cape, with a panoramic view of the Atlantic, high over the rocks on Granite Point. Several of John's favorite memories, which he was admittedly not bashful in sharing with others, were associated with his rather distinguished baseball career. John hit a home run over the Green Monster in Fenway Park at the age of fifteen (yes, 15). A couple of years later, as their ace, he pitched the Sweeney Post team through several states, and then regional playoffs, and eventually into the final game of the 1948 Legion World Series in San Diego - his team travelling five days each way via train to California. The stories he told of this particular two week experience are memorable. He pitched a complete game 1-0 loss. Back then, Legion baseball was extremely popular and highly followed, captivating the City of Manchester. John was proud of his accomplishments, yet even more honored that his team "took little darn Manchester, New Hampshire to California for God's sake - and almost won the whole (darn) thing." He soon thereafter "retired" as a minor leaguer, having played in the Carolinas and elsewhere, because he "needed to make some damn money." John is survived by his four children: Maryanne, and her husband, Bob Foley, of Drakes Island; Margaret ("Meg"), and her husband, Mike LePage, of Cumberland, Maine; John, Jr. ("J.R.") and his wife Mary Beth, of Keene; and Tim, and his wife Priscilla, of Portsmouth. John is also survived by his nine grandchildren, whom he was most proud of thus far. Services will be private with his family. To share a remembrance or offer a word of condolence, please visit John's book of memories at bibberfuneral.com Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer St., Kennebunk.
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