John William Coughlin Jr.
1943 – 2021
Agawam – John “Jack” William Coughlin Jr., 78, was called to his eternal rest with is family by his side on April 17, 2021, after a long and courageous battle to recover at Berkshire Medical Center, Pittsfield MA since his pedestrian accident in January 2021.
Jack had most recently found a home and a community in the town of Agawam. The task for which he is most recognized was his daily mission to clean community parks, rivers, ponds, roadways, of litter. The increase in the irresponsible disposal of nip bottles became so severe he lobbied for the passage of legislation expanding the bottle deposit bill in MA to incorporate nip bottles.
Yet Jack was so much more to his family, friends and communities he supported. Jack lived a life of dedication to the community that spanned well over 40 years. In his lifetime he coached soccer, then became president of Brookside Soccer Association which led to the founding of the Outer Belt Civic Improvement Association (OBCIA). During this time, he successfully lobbied for the purchase of land for use as a neighborhood park now known as Treetop Park. In addition, he held events, parades, concerts and more for the area families. His love for shad fishing led him to found the New England Shad Association where he continually lobbied for improvements for public access to the Connecticut River and its tributaries. He spent the last 15 years lobbying for the complete renovation of the Medina Street Boat Launch in Chicopee MA, but sadly passed away just weeks before its grand opening.
Even with all these accomplishments, he is more widely known for his environmental activism as he incorporated this core value into all aspects of his daily life. His children and their friends became acquainted with the “five-minute pickup” and soccer teams were lined up to walk the soccer fields picking up debris like airmen on the deck of an aircraft carrier. As president of the OBCIA he led the organization to join forces with city officials to clean up an abandoned burial ground on Allen Street.
Jack was born on February 8, 1943 in Quincy MA to the late John W. Coughlin Sr. and Ida E. (Scibilio) Coughlin. After High School, Jack bravely entered the US Army Reserves during the Vietnam War. He worked for Verizon Communications Inc. for 35 years until his retirement.
Jack had many hobbies, including his Environmental Activism, American Shad Fishing, Hunting, Gardening, Lobbying, an avid sports fan, especially the New England based teams, and he was a semi-professional athlete including soccer and hockey.
Jack loved his family, and he wanted a better world for them. His continuous efforts to care for the environment and make meaningful changes through legislation have given us all an everlasting legacy to follow. Jack made this world a better place, and his lasting impression in every community he helped and fought for will not be forgotten.
To cherish his memory, Jack leaves his son Sean F. Coughlin and his wife Pauline R. of East Longmeadow, his daughter Erin K. Coughlin of Springfield, his ex-wife Sharon A. Coughlin-McConnell, his four grandchildren Michael D. Coughlin of Springfield, Jessica D. Guyer-Coughlin of Agawam, Justin N. Coughlin of East Longmeadow, and Kaylie A. Coughlin of East Longmeadow, his great-grandson Liam M. Coughlin, his brother Steven P. Coughlin and his wife Diane of Buzzards Bay, his two nephews Stephen P. Coughlin Jr. and John W. Coughlin III, his niece Shelli M. Mobilia, and many extended family and friends.
Jack’s family cannot put into words how grateful they are to all the people and organizations who have reached out to give hope, support and compassion for Jack’s family and the humanitarian causes Jack leaves behind. They would like to especially thank the Town of Agawam, its leaders and first responders, the residents of Agawam and surrounding communities, the Agawam Police Department, the Agawam Lions Club, the Agawam Rotary Club, the Westfield River Watershed Council, the Massachusetts Office of Fishing and Boating Access, the Container Recycling Institute, Agawam Mayor Bill Sapelli, Senator John Velis, Representative Nicholas Boldyga, Nancy and Bill Bobskill, Marge Davis, Patti Pransky, Sheryl Becker, and Terry Smith.
Family and friends are invited to celebrate in Jack’s life and pay their respects on Saturday May 1, 2021 from 1pm-5pm in Colonial Forastiere Funeral & Cremation, 985 Main St., Agawam.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Jack’s name may be to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation 636 Morris Turnpike, Suite 3A, Short Hills NJ, 07078.
To leave an online condolence, visit www.forastiere.com.