Daniel William “Bill” Coughlin
Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Daniel William “Bill” Coughlin, age 92, died March 5, 2017 in Birmingham, Ala., after 92 full, well-lived years. Bill was born to Dorothy and Will Coughlin in Hattiesburg, Miss. in 1924 and grew up in the Great Depression which instilled in him a lifelong sense of self-dependence. In his freshman year at Mississippi State University, Bill enlisted in the United States Army and enrolled in officer’s training at Georgetown University. His program was cut short after D-day when he was called to the war front with the 406th Infantry division, AT Company. After the war, Bill returned to Mississippi State University, where he was introduced to the love of his life, Lenore Ross in a closet at the Catholic Church. Bill graduated at the top of his Civil Engineering class and took a job with Southern Company Services, where he stayed his entire professional career, retiring as Principal Engineer of the Hydroelectric Power Division.
Bill and Lenore set down roots in Birmingham, joining St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, where Bill remained an active member for 61 years. Bill and Lenore had 6 beloved children, and Bill was a devoted husband and father, which was great practice for his favorite role later in life: grandfather, and great-grandfather to 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Bill was an Eagle Scout, and a dedicated Scout Leader. During his tenure as Scout Leader, he led two high adventure expeditions to Philmont, New Mexico. He was an avid hiker, fisherman, and nature lover. He hiked multiple portions of the Appalachian Trail including ascent of the final height of Mt. Kitahdin. He was a bearded distance runner for fitness before either running or beards were fashionable. He was a long time member of Eastern Wrangler’s square dance club, where he was known as a strong dancer and a stronger teacher. He was a faithful volunteer for Meals on Wheels until age 89.
Mr. Coughlin is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Lenore; and brother, Jim. He is survived by his son and 5 daughters, Tim (Keely), Christy Johns (Swint), Dottie Wozniak (Mark), Camille Bryson (David), Lucy McNeely (Pat), Kate Andrews (Robert); 13 grandchildren, Daniel Johns, Ross Johns, Douglas Wozniak (Jennifer), Matthew Wozniak, Allison London (Mitchell), Sean Bryson, Chase Oliver, Kelsey McNeely, Walker McNeely, Margaret Deason-Coughlin, Ella Lancaster, Sophie Andrews, and Will Andrews; and by one great-grandchild, Joey Wozniak.
Graveside service and burial will be at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 10 at New Palestine Cemetery in Picayune, Miss. Contributions in his memory may be made to Catholic Charities, Meals On Wheels of Jefferson County, First Light Shelter, or the Charity of your choice.