Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Charles Leo Coughlin

ALFRED — Charles Leo Coughlin, formerly of Alfred, passed away Monday (June 14, 2010) at the home of his son, James and Theresa Coughlin of Chenango Forks, where he been living since 2004. Leo was born Dec. 21, 1929, to Joseph and Gertrude Handel Coughlin. On June 25, 1955, he married Marguerite Dempsey, who predeceased him Feb. 10, 1986.

Leo graduated from Youngstown State College and entered the U.S. Army in 1953. While in the army, he served in Italy, Germany, South Korea and Vietnam, retiring in 1972 as a lieutenant colonel. He was an instructor with the Alfred University ROTC and moved back to Alfred after retirement to build a home and raise his family. Leo became a teacher at Immaculate Conception School in Wellsville and became the line coach for Wellsville High School football. The Colonel will be fondly missed by his players and will be remembered for his ability to tape any injury. He later taught in various school districts including Hornell and Arkport. Leo was a member of St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Alfred and later attended St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bath. He was a member of the Alfred Lions Club and a life member of the Military Officers Association of America.

Survivors include two sons, Michael Coughlin and James (Theresa) Coughlin; two daughters, Ellen (James) Dillon and Colleen Coughlin; six grandchildren, Kevin Coughlin and James, Thomas, Marguerite, Daniel and Patrick Dillon; a brother, Robert Coughlin; and two sisters, Agnes Daniels and Sister Mariam Coughlin.

He was predeceased by eight brothers and sisters.

Friends are invited to call from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Thursday at the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home, Inc. in Wellsville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated oat 11 a.m. Friday in St. Jude’s Catholic Church on the Alfred State Campus with Father Sean DiMaria as celebrant. His burial, with military Honors, will take place in Alfred Rural Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial suggestions include the Marguerite Ann Coughlin Scholarship fund at Alfred University or to the Alzheimer’s Association. To send online condolences, go to


  1. I am glad to say I knew Mr. Coughlin thirty years ago when I taught at Arkport. As a beginning teacher I appreciated the advice he gave me. I will never forget our races to finish the Word Jumble from the Buffalo News each morning! He was a scholar and a gentleman; I remember him fondly. Please accept my sympathy at your family's loss.

  2. My sympathies to the family of Grandpa Leo. I enjoyed hearing stories of him and how much he did for his community. A few memories stand out on his visits to Oswego with his daughter Ellen and Jim's family. He played a tremendous part in helping when the triplets were born, tending to the twins in a very warmhearted way. His visits to see the family for birthdays, sports or school events were just as special for Tommy. Jimmy. Danny, Pat and Margaurite as it was for Leo.
    God Bless all the members of his family that helped make him comfortable in his last years.
    Every kind wish,
    Missy and Bill Mercier Oswego, New York

  3. Leo was a classy gentlemman with a great sense of humor. I appreciated Leo as a football coach and a friend. I will never forget him standing over me chewing me out, with his unlit cigar hanging out of his mouth. He taped my ankles almost everday of the season, so I was fortunate enough to get the time to know him. The world is a better place because of Leo.

  4. I was one of Mr Coughlin's students at Arkport and I have so many wonderful memories of him. He was one of the teachers that you really looked up to and did not want to disappoint. He had such a fun side to him and I will always remember watching some of his college football tapes he would bring for us to watch if we finished our work early. I have thought of him often through the years. My deepest sympathies to his family in this time of loss.

  5. Uncle Leo was one of my father Jack's older brothers. He could find the humor in anything, and it was always fun to see him. He also had a kind heart and was a wonderful story teller.

    Carolyn Coughlin

  6. My condolences to the family of Coach Coughlin. I had the privilege of playing for “The Colonel” 35 years ago. I’ll always remember him for teaching me to work harder and achieving more than I thought I was capable of.

  7. I was graciously awarded the Marguerite Ann Coughlin Scholarship fund at Alfred University back in the early 1990's thanks to Mr. Coughlin. I truly appreciated his generosity with my graduate education. He was a great man. My condolences to his family.

  8. I only met Uncle Leo one time, when he took home my grandmother's green shoes. But am very sad to hear of his passing. My condolences to all the rest of the family. Jamie (Coughlin) Shipman

  9. From previous ICS Student Karen Insley Carson:
    I enjoyed having Mr. Coughlin as my teacher. I remember walking to his house as a class to raise money for something and repelling down some mountain. I remember him holding one of my classmates out the window by his legs for some type of science experiment. Looking back now - wow what a great time we all had! You made every day so much fun! My condolences to his family!

  10. Rebecca Torrence BassAugust 21, 2010 at 10:54 PM

    I am sorry to learn of the passing of Mr."C". He was my grade school remedial math teacher at Arkport Central School 20+ years ago. I will always remember him teaching me how to play 21 & listening to the stories he would tell. He had a wonderful personality and was a great educator.
    My sympathy goes out to all of his family. He certainly will be missed!!