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Geraldine Aleda Coughlin

1927 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences Gallery
Geraldine Aleda Coughlin Obituary
Geraldine Aleda Coughlin

Born April 26, 1927 in Seattle, died January 3, 2014 after a short illness. Preceded in death by her parents Homer and Jeanette Testu, brother Joseph Testu, sister Jeanne Marie (Testu) Works and grandson Jason. Survived by her sons Kevin (Patti) Coughlin and Dan, daughters Kerry (Mark) Holly and Kristine (Arlie) Becker, numerous beloved nieces, nephews and grandchildren. She was a friend of Bill W.

Gerry was raised in West Seattle & never got over it. She attended Holy Rosary grade & high school, was Senior Class President, Captain of the Debate Team, and Valedictorian of her class.

She attended Seattle U. on a debate scholarship. In 1949 she married Dan Coughlin, reporter at the Seattle PI. She and Dan operated the Greater Seattle Ski School at Snoqualmie Pass.

After alcohol dissolved their 25 year marriage. Gerry completed treatment, re-entered Seattle U graduating with a degree in Community Service and Addiction Studies. She helped establish the Alcohol Professional Staff Society later named the Chemical Dependency Professionals of Washington State, affiliated with NAADAC. Her mentor, Father James Royce, invited her to help develop the first case-management class for academic credit.

In 1979 Gerry was appointed to serve on the initial board of directors of the Alcohol and Drug Helpline and as president. She and others formed the Chemical Dependency Counselor Certification Board; she served on the Board until the Department of Health took over. She served on the Board of Directors of the Washington State Council on Alcoholism, affiliated with the National Council on Alcoholism.

Gerry taught at Shoreline, Bellevue and Seattle Central Community Colleges. She taught in the addiction program at BCC for 20 years working as a counselor and intern supervisor in special programs. The classroom was her favorite place. Gerry was director of a 22 bed inpatient facility in Carmel; while serving on the California Women's Commission on Alcoholism, as Regional Chair for the Bay Area.

Her work was recognized by her peers: 1991 Professional of the Year by the Chemical Dependency Counselors of Washington; 1994 Educator of the Year by the Northwest Consortium of Chemical Dependency Educators; 1999 Outstanding Service Award by the Washington State Women's Coalition on Substance Abuse Issues; 2011 Nichols Leadership Award. Her final contribution was to Triple Play Connections (TPC) as a consultant. Gerry was a strong proponent of prevention of domestic violence.

She loved to travel trips included Ireland, London, Paris (twice) and Amsterdam, Washington, DC, New York, Boston, Maine, California and her final trip to Quebec City.

She loved opera, the Mariners and the Jet City Roller Girls.

A Funeral Mass will be held Friday January 31, 2014 at 10:30 AM at Holy Rosary Church; reception in the parish hall immediately following. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to Holy Rosary School or a .
Published in The Seattle Times on Jan. 26, 2014
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