Clifford Anthony Coughlin, age 84 of Gainesville, Florida passed away peacefully on February 12, 2019 surrounded by his family. He was born in North Merrick, New York.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Mary Elizabeth Coughlin, his father James Augustus Coughlin and his brother James A. Coughlin. He is survived by his wife Mary Louise Coughlin of 57 years and his three children, Mary Beth DeLuzio, Steve James Coughlin, and Kathi Marie Lasker. He is also survived by his brother, Harold Edward Coughlin and nine grandchildren.
In his early years, Cliff was a gifted athlete. He was an NCAA Division One college lacrosse player for Hofstra University from 1952-1956, coached by the legendary Howdy Myers, the founder of college lacrosse on Long Island.
Subsequently, he played for the New York Giants on the 1956 National Championship team coached by Jim Lee Howell and the great Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry.
Cliff was a veteran of the United States Armed Forces serving in the United States Army during the Cold War as a NIKE missile officer and SAM Unit Commander.
Following his service to the nation, Cliff began his Career as an elementary school teacher which lasted for 30 years in Uniondale, New York, where he mentored, influenced, and educated countless young people.
During this time he continued his athletic lifestyle as high school football referee (Umpire) and as head lifeguard at Jones Beach State Park on Long Island where he led a team of lifeguards in the annual International Ocean Lifeguard competition, winning the event numerous times.
Cliff and Mary Lou relocated to Gainesville after retiring from the New York Public School system.
During his 30-year retirement, Cliff was a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. He was a skilled woodworker and furniture maker with an eye for notable antique pieces. Cliff was an avid reader and lifelong learner. He was also a lifelong faithful member of the Catholic Church.
A funeral mass will be celebrated on Friday, February 15, 2019 at 9:30 A.M., in the Holy Faith Catholic Church, 747 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville, with Fr. John Phillips, celebrant. Interment with military honors, will follow in Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or to www.stjude.org
. Please visit his memorial page at:
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Published by Gainesville Sun from Feb. 14 to Feb. 15, 2019.