John Coakley "Sean"
The Coakley family is saddened to announce the passing of John "Sean" Coakley on April 16, 2021. As a teen boy he left his family farm in Skibbereen, County Cork, Ireland and crossed the Atlantic to Washington, DC, where his parents had immigrated in the 1920s. In Washington, his father started a construction company with his brother in 1926 and his mother worked for Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. A proud son of Ireland, John equally loved the USA and served in the Marine Corps Reserve. His blood ran red, white, and blue with a strong hue of green.Gifted with a keen mind, he received a B.S. from Georgetown University, an MBA from American University and an MPA from Princeton University. As a successful farmer, entrepreneur, economist and loving father John never forgot his homeland. He devoted his unflagging energy to promoting Irish Culture and served as a president of the Irish American Club. In 1971 he organized Washington DC's first St Patrick's Day parade which marched up Massachusetts Avenue from Dupont Circle to Robert Emmett's statue.In 1977 he was honored as Gael of the year for his efforts in the Irish American community and for his philanthropic work.He also founded the Irish Cultural and Folklore Society and organized many notable Irish concerts, dances and Feis in the Washington DC area with such artists as Michael Flatley, Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy, Frank Patterson, Mary O'Hara and former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. He also provided entertainment to the United States Bicentennial Celebration in 1976 and the 1981 Inauguration of President Ronald Reagan.He was predeceased by his wife, Anne and his brothers, Cornelius and Daniel. He is survived by his daughter, Denise and his sons, John and Patrick as well his grandchildren, Lauren, Ana, Emma, Aiden and Claire and his sisters, Mary Falvey and Patricia Boler both of Bethesda.A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Jane Frances De Chantal Church, 9701 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda, MD on Thursday, April 22 at 11 a.m. Interment private. A memorial service of his life will be done later this summer.May the Irish hills caress you. May her lakes and rivers bless you. May the luck of the Irish enfold you. May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.For it is not goodbye we will say today, but Slan Leat or good-bye for now.In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Irish Historical Society, 991 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028, www.aihs.org