Sunday, February 11, 2018 from 5:00 - 6:45 PM, with a prayer service at 6:45 PM, at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home, 520 S. 11th St., Hudson, WI.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, February 12, 2018 at 11:00 AM at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 1500 Vine St., Hudson, WI.
Margaret Elaine Coughlin, known as Elaine, 96 years of age, died peacefully on February 7th, at her daughter’s and son-in-law’s home in Hudson, WI.
Elaine was born in Ottumwa, Iowa in 1921 to Lee Otis and Hadassa Mae Van Dyke. Elaine outlived her parents and three brothers, Max (Katie), Marvin (Virginia) and Brick (Elaine), as well as her husband Joseph and granddaughter Jessica Miller.
When Elaine was 2, she lost the tips of 2 fingers to the first knuckle on her left hand in an accident with a rocking chair. When she was 6, her mother started her with piano lessons so she would learn to use those fingers and not be afraid for them to be seen. That started a love for the piano that lasted a lifetime. Elaine was her piano teacher’s star pupil and earned a college scholarship with her music. She graduated from Marycrest College with a music degree in 1943.
Elaine met her future husband, Joseph Coughlin, at a USO dance in Ottumwa, Iowa in 1944. Joe was training to be a Navy Air Force pilot. He always said that when he saw Elaine enter the door at the USO dance, he knew that this was the woman he was going to spend his life with. That’s just what he did. Married on August 22nd, 1945 at the chapel on the Naval Airforce Base, Corpus Christi, Texas, he and Elaine were together for just a few months short of 70 years. Joe passed away in April of 2015. They had five children; Jennifer Borup (John), Charlotte Hofer (Kevin), Melinda Neumayer (Harry), Joseph (Deborah) Coughlin, and Marvin (Cari Robeck) Coughlin; 13 grandchildren, John (Melissa) Borup, Matt (Kristin) Borup, Casey (Susan) Miller, Abby (Erik) Schneider-Miller, Karissa (Drew) Kondo, Kevin Hofer, Aaron (Lorena Guerrero) Neumayer, Nicole (Aric) Fick, Katelyn (Matt) Carroll, Joseph (Molly) Coughlin, Timothy (Brittany) Coughlin, Charlotte (Donny) Smoot, Lucas Coughlin; 21 great grandchildren, Gavin, Cameron, Lily, Malcolm, and Ivy Borup, Bennet and River Borup, Zephyr Miller and Oliver Miller, Haley and Madison Barr, Jocelynn Neumayer, Giselle Brownfield, Riley and Jack Fick, Eli, Ezra and Noah Coughlin, and Broderick and Evan Smoot, and Greyson Coughlin.
Joe and Elaine moved to Wintergreen Senior Apartments in Hudson in 1992. During the next 23 years, they contributed significantly to the quality of life for everyone there. For 17 of those years, Elaine and Harriet Christianson played piano/organ duets for the enjoyment of Wintergreen residents. At 10 o’clock every Wednesday morning, residents would bring their coffee cups to the dining room and sing their favorite oldies played by these two skilled friends. Joe loved hearing Elaine play.
The Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday, February 12th, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Burial was at the Willow River Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to Care International, www.care.org. CARE is a major international humanitarian agency delivering emergency relief and long-term international development projects.