Marsha Jean (MJ) Coughlin (nee Muller), passed peacefully with family at her side in her home in Voluntown, CT, on December 4th, 2021, following a difficult battle with cancer, at the age of 75.
MJ was born August 17, 1946, in New London and grew up in Groton. She graduated from Fitch Sr. High School in 1964, she later obtained an Associate in Science degree from Mohegan Community College in 1987.
MJ was wed to Daniel William Coughlin October 5,1968, ETN2, USN, with whom she had her only child, John-Paul (J-P) T. Coughlin; Daniel passed away in August of 1981. She was later widowed in 2001 after a final marriage to Hadlai E. Burdick of Stonington in 1999.
In 1974, MJ joined the US Army National Guard where she worked until 1978. She often spoke of her having graduated NCO school while enlisted, achieving a Marksmanship Medal for machine gun, and paratrooper qualifications along the way, also receiving an accommodation for service during ‘The Blizzard of ‘78”. She held several careers over the years; “Tech Aide”/procedure writer at EB Groton thru the 70’s and 80’s, she was a Laborer on several sites with Laborer’s Local 547, Groton; and was a Home Health Aide thru 90’s and 00’s, she was a CDL driver for many local companies, while her last job, driving student bus for URI, was among her favorite jobs, as she enjoyed meeting and befriending foreign students from around the world.
MJ was an accomplished and prolific poet and was often inspired to write religious poems after her daily readings from the “Our Daily Bread” monthly booklets. She was a gifted artist – painting, calligraphy, and sewing to name a few. She also possessed a passion for gardening, spending countless hours maintaining several gardens and landscaping over the years on her five-acre property. As a single mom she passed along a vast array of self-reliance knowledge in vehicle and home maintenance and outdoorsman skills to her son and grandsons over the years. She enjoyed her Harley, riding in local events; due to an early association with “The Huns” local MC group, she was invited to join the front riders for “Pappy’s Run” when able, and was excited to go to Sturgis and Myrtle Beach rallies over the years as well. She taught her son navigation, map reading and trip planning on two separate month-long cross-country journeys, enjoying a vast amount of the sites, scenery and roadside attractions of The USA (with visits to Mexico and Canada) while visiting several family members and lifelong friends along the way in the early 80’s. She also enjoyed several cruises as well as both Atlantic and Pacific Island trips with various friends over the years.
MJ is survived by her son John-Paul Coughlin, (Dawn), twin grandsons, Tavish and Calvin, all of Lisbon, grandson Charley of Niantic, siblings Barbara Weber Gibson (Russ) of Myrtle Beach, SC, Carol Boileau-Orr of Moosup, CT, Helen Muller Sherburne (Rich) of Vancouver, WA, many cousins, nieces and nephews and her close companion dog, Junior, who faithfully stayed beside her until the end. She was preceded in death by her parents Henry A. Muller II, and Muriel R. Muller (nee Renaldi) of Groton, brothers Karl H. Muller, Ralph A. Muller and Henry A. Muller III.
A funeral service is scheduled for 11:00 AM, on December 18, 2021, at Voluntown Baptist Church, located at 52 Main Street, Voluntown, CT. Graveside service to follow at Robbins Cemetery. Reception after burial will be at Voluntown Baptist Church. The Gagne Piechowski Fuenral Home 490 Voluntown Road Jewett City has been entrusted with arrangements. For online condolences please go to www.gagnefuneralhome.com
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to BPOE Danielson Lodge #1706, 13 Center Street Danielson, CT 06239-3007, in care of “The Elk’s Riders”.
The family would especially like to thank Voluntown Baptist Church members and “Pastor Matt” McKay for giving countless hours of visits, wonderful meals, and volumes of love for MJ – services which can never be repaid.
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