1944 - 2020
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COOGAN, Peter Weston Of Newton Centre, Massachusetts, and formerly of Pomfret, Vermont and Tucson, Arizona, died of COVID-19 at the age of 76 on Thursday, April 9, 2020. A lawyer whose practice focused on business, banking and intellectual property, Peter was with the law firm Foley Hoag LLP in Boston, Massachusetts, for 37 years. He was Chairman of the firm's Business Department from 1982-1987 and again from 1997-2000; he served on the firm's Executive and Distribution Committees from 1987-1995 and he was a Managing Partner of the firm from 1989-1994. A graduate of The Roxbury Latin School, in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, Peter Coogan attended Harvard College (graduating in 1966 with an A.B. cum laude) and Harvard Law School (graduating in 1969 with a J.D. magna cum laude). From 1969-1970, Peter was a Law Clerk for the Honorable J. Skelly Wright of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. From 1970-1973, he was Assistant Chief Counsel for the United States Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments and a Legislative Assistant to Senator Birch Bayh (D-Indiana), where he worked on the passage of the 26th Constitutional Amendment (which permits voting by citizens who are 18 years and older) and the Equal Rights Amendment (which sought to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex). Joining Foley Hoag LLP in 1973, Peter specialized in the legal areas of banking, corporate finance and securities, intellectual property, technology transfer and licensing, life sciences, mergers and acquisitions, and venture capital and emerging companies. Over the course of his 37-year practice at Foley Hoag, Peter represented such corporate clients as C.R. Bard, Inc., a leading biotechnology and health-care company, and the Depositors Insurance Fund (DIF), which provides supplemental protection for funds deposited with Massachusetts-chartered savings banks. Peter's legal advice was always smart, insightful and practical, and he was a well-liked mentor to young lawyers. Peter and his wife Debbie of 45 years had their primary residence in Newton Centre, Massachusetts, with a vacation home in Pomfret, Vermont, and later a winter home in Tucson, Arizona. They spent virtually every weekend and vacation for more than 40 years at their Vermont farm, and Peter especially enjoyed mowing the fields and maintaining the 200-acre family farm. When Peter retired from Foley Hoag in 2010, Peter and Debbie purchased a winter home in Tucson, Arizona, where they enjoyed classical music concerts at the Fred Fox School of Music at the University of Arizona. Born in Boston, Massachusetts on February 21, 1944, Peter Coogan is survived by, his wife, Deborah Willard Coogan, of Newton Centre; his daughter, Tracy Coogan Plants, and her husband, Todd E. Plants, of Brookline; his beloved four-year old grandson, Finn Michael Coogan Plants; his grandson, Sawyer Weston Coogan Plants, born April 5th just in time for Peter to know that he had a second grandchild; his son, Christopher Willard Coogan, and his fiancée, Margaret Sloan, of Charlestown; his sister, Rosalind Coogan Anderson, and her husband, Julius Anderson, of Pomfret, Vermont; his brother, Matthew Coogan, and his wife, Patricia Ferris Coogan, of Ithaca, New York and Pomfret, Vermont; his brother-in-law, David O. Merrill, and sister-in-law, Charlotte Wheaton Merrill, of Murphy, Texas and Pomfret, Vermont; his sister-in-law, Judith Willard Meyer, and her husband, Richard T. Meyer, of Boynton Beach, Florida; and numerous nieces and nephews. The family asks that contributions in Peter's memory be made to any of the following: Harvard College, 124 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138; Harvard Law School, 124 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138; The University of Arizona Foundation for the benefit of the Fred Fox School of Music, 1111 N. Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721-0109; or another charity of your choice. There will be a private service at Newton Cemetery in the coming weeks. To share a memory of Peter or to send a note of condolence, please visit

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Published in Boston Globe from Apr. 11 to Apr. 12, 2020.
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