Bridget Regina (Fallon) Coogan, 80, of Vernon, died Sunday, June 8, 2014, at St. Francis Hospital after a difficult battle with multiple myeloma.
Regina was born in Co. Longford, Ireland on Dec. 24, 1933, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Fallon of Kilashee, Co., Longford. She was one of five children and she is predeceased by all of her siblings, Mae Fallon, Vincent Fallon, Jerome Fallon and Thomas Fallon.
Regina attended Clooncagh School in Kilashee during her primary and secondary school years and she later worked as a bookkeeper at Kings's Department Store in Longford and as head of accounting at Quinn's Department Store of Longford Town. Regina retired from her position at Quinn's and moved to the United States in 1967, marrying her husband of 44 years, John Francis "Frank" Coogan, on Aug. 10, 1968, in Astoria, Queens, New York. They settled in Vernon and had two daughters who were the pride of her life, Deirdre Mary and Brenda Anne. Regina was predeceased in 1985 by her then 15-year-old daughter Deirdre Mary, and this loss was one of the greatest burdens in her life. She is also predeceased by her husband Frank.
Regina is survived by her daughter, Dr. Brenda Anne Coogan O'Leary and her husband, Mr. Scott Allen O'Leary, of Burlington, as well as her three beloved grandchildren, Aine Deirdre O'Leary (6), Clara Fallon O'Leary (4), and Ronan John Thomas O'Leary (2). Her grandchildren dearly loved their "Nana" and they were blessed to live with her over the past 16 months. In addition to her immediate family, Regina is survived by her sister-in-law Tess Fallon of Kilashee; her brother and sister-in-law Ken and Ann Coogan of Co. Kilkenny; and her sister-in-law Nuala Coogan of Co. Galway; as well and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and precious friends who were like family to her.
Regina's true passion in life was Irish dancing. She founded the Fallon School of Irish Dance in Co. Longford, Ireland and trained many dancers before moving to Connecticut 47 years ago. Regina was an integral part of the Griffith Academy of Irish Dance for approximately 20 years prior to co-founding the Coogan School of Irish Dance with Brenda in 1997. Regina was very involved in the business end of the Coogan School; however, her true talent was evident in her ability to mentor and motivate her students and to make every dancer and parent of the school feel loved and welcome. Regina attained her United States Citizenship in 2006, and while much of her heart always remained in Ireland, she was very proud to be an American. She was a communicant of St. Bernard's Church in Rockville, for 46 years, and she acted as a Eucharistic minister at the 11:30 and then noon Sunday Mass for almost 30 years. Regina was a devout Catholic who loved her faith and her parish, and her St. Bernard family is extensive. All who knew Regina will remember her as a loyal friend and devoted mother and wife who endeared herself to all those around her. She was the center of many lives and her friends and family will continue to honor her by following the examples that she set.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at St. Bernard's Church in Rockville at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 14, 2014.
Friends and family may call to the Burke-Fortin Funeral Home, 76 Prospect Street, Vernon from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, June 13.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, 383 Main Avenue, 5th Floor, Norwalk, CT 06851http://www.themmrf.org
For online condolences please visitwww.pietrasfuneralhome.com