Mary  Coughlan

Mary Elizabeth Coughlan (Newcomb)

Wednesday, June 1st, 1932 - Friday, May 15th, 2020
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Kennebunk, ME

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Mary Elizabeth Coughlan (nee Newcomb) on May 15, 2020 at Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford following a brief illness. Mary died peacefully. She was born in Mexico City on June 1, 1932 to Webster Kent and Elizabeth (Beck) Newcomb. She was predeceased by her husband Ian Louis Coughlan on May 26, 1979.

Mary grew up in Montreal and lived there most of her life. Her family summered in Kennebunk Beach, ME for over 50 years. In 2011 she relocated to Kennebunk to be closer to her children and grandchildren.

She attended The Study in Montreal and then graduated from St Mary’s in the Mountains (White Mountain School) in Bethlehem NH in 1949. She received her BA from McGill University in Montreal in 1954.

Later in life she spent 10 years as the Coordinator of Volunteers at the Palliative Care Unit at The Royal Victoria Hospital. Her experience as a widow informed this position and it gave her life great meaning.
Mary was an avid traveler, including many ski trips to Europe and the Western US with her husband, Ian. She also traveled frequently with her mother. With the birth of her first grandchild she travelled to London, one of her favorite destinations, also to Hong Kong and Tokyo.

She was a sports enthusiast and was a long-time member of the Edgcomb Tennis Club in Kennebunk and the Montreal Indoor Club. Up until her final days she continued to watch major tennis tournaments on television. She and her husband owned a ski house in Stowe VT and enjoyed weekends and holidays there with family and friends. She spoke proudly of her ascending and skiing Tuckerman’s Ravine while on her honeymoon with husband Ian. She adored dogs, particularly Labradors, and had at least one as a companion throughout her life.
One of Mary’s greatest pleasures was dining out with friends or family and she was even known to sneak the occasional french fry from another plate.

Mary was happiest when surrounded by her children and grandchildren. Her legacy will always be one of fierce love for her 4 children, 9 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. Mary is survived by her children, Jerry Coughlan and his wife Stephanie of Wellesley MA and their daughter Lily Coughlan and Jerry’s children Kelley Weaver (Hunter Weaver), Ian Coughlan, Chris Coughlan and Kelley’s daughter Skye Weaver; Suzie Coughlan and her partner Ronnie Sandler of Maynard MA and Easton NH; Wendy Coughlan and her partner Bet Dews of North Ferrisburg VT and their children Soren Dews, Rosa Dews and Nick Coughlan; and Mike Coughlan and his wife Amy Wood of Kennebunk ME and Mike’s children Hunter Coughlan and Ryan Coughlan. She is also survived by her brother Webster Kent Newcomb and wife Terry of Hamilton, Ontario. Mary was predeceased by brother Eman Beck Newcomb.
Mary will be greatly missed by many cousins, nieces, a nephew, and friends on both sides of the border.

As per Mary’s wishes, a celebration of her life with family will be held at a later date in Kennebunk Beach.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Myositis Support and Understanding would be welcome. (

To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit Mary’s Book of Memories Page at

Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer Street, Kennebunk, ME.
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Plant a Tree in Memory of Mary
1 tree has been planted in memory of Mary Elizabeth Coughlan (Newcomb)

Ann Wallace

Posted at 06:58pm
Mary was a wonderful neighbor of ours here at the cottages at Huntington Common. My late husband Adrian so enjoyed sharing "dog stories" with Mary about their pets, which all were retrievers. I am so happy to have known Mary - a very special lady, indeed.

Ann Wallace

Faith Wiss

Posted at 11:38am
I will miss my good friend,Mary-we had so many enjoyable dinners together.
Faith Wiss

Balfour M. Mount

Posted at 12:45pm
We plant Mary's tree to celebrate the ever-growing wisdom in living that she exemplified.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Mary Coughlan — Plant a Tree Now

Deborah Salmon Posted at 03:09pm

I worked with Mary in Palliative Care in the 80's and remember her ready laugh, great capacity to connect with people, and heartfelt generosity. Mary opened he home to the staff for potluck dinners. She was welcoming to all. May you be comforted by your memories of her rich life. Deborah Salmon (former music therapist, palliative care)

Balfour Mount

Posted at 12:37pm
Mary's insight, discernment, caring and leadership skills were seminal ingredients in building Palliative Medicine toward becoming an internationally recognized discipline. Everyone who knew her felt enriched and encouraged to achieve greater things and to experience a more fulsome appreciation of each day. This photograph, with Ina Cummings Ajemian and me, was taken on the Royal Vic Palliative Care Unit during the happy, heady days of her productive leadership. Her memory is, I know, an ongoing blessing to all of us who knew and loved her. ~Balfour Mount~

Melissa Phillips

Posted at 03:59pm
Sending condolences to the family and a special hug to Wendy. May Memories of your mum live on in the minds of you and your children.

Marie Hamilton Posted at 03:54pm

I met Mary as a new volunteer at the Vic.She welcomed me warmly and I became a friend. The whole made me a better person. Sincere condolences to the family. Marie Hamilton

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