HIGH SPRINGS – William Joseph Coughlin, Jr., 64, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, at his home in High Springs following a battle with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma that began when he was diagnosed in April 2012.

He served the City of High Springs as city commissioner for two three-year terms beginning in 2000 and again in 2007 and served as mayor in 2003 and 2010.

Following chemotherapy, Coughlin was able to go back to work at the University of Florida in 2013. According to his wife, Donna, he did well after that.

“I would say that 2014 was his best year,” she said. “He still had some limitations, but he could do most everything. We went hiking in the North Carolina mountains.”

Coughlin retired in April 2015, and “that's when his lymphoma came back,” Donna said. “He went through chemotherapy and radiation therapy, then developed a clot in his left leg. He went through a thrombectomy, which took a lot out of him. No matter how hard he tried, the lymphoma continued to come back.”

Coughlin passed away eight days after his doctor told him there was nothing else he could do for him, and he went home with the support of his family and hospice.

Donna describes Coughlin as an energetic, outdoors man who was happiest when he was near the water. He surfed when he was young and always had several salt water fishing boats. He loved salt water fishing with his two brothers, she said.

He was a very involved and devoted father. “He raised our two excellent children: Megan who graduated from UF Law School, and Kelly, who is in school to become a physicians assistant,” Donna said.

She noted that Coughlin loved music. “He had a bugle in his early years. As an adult he studied the mandolin, the guitar and then the violin. He made sure both the girls received piano lessons. At night after dinner, he would practice his instruments.”

He was also active in sports. “We met while playing co-ed soccer with various teams,” Donna said. “He taught Kelly and she got into competitive soccer. Eventually, they played co-ed soccer together. He taught Megan tennis, and she played in high school.

“My husband was a very positive and energetic force in all of our lives. He really participated and was a real partner. He went too soon. We got married when I was 30 and he was 33. We could have used more time together, but we enjoyed the time we did have.”

Coughlin was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on Oct. 21, 1951, to parents William Joseph and Mary Newell Coughlin, the first of seven children. Following high school, he served in the United States Navy for six years on a nuclear submarine. After the Navy, Coughlin attended the University of Florida where he earned a masters degree in Nuclear Engineering.

Coughlin and his wife met in Gainesville and later moved to High Springs, where they raised their children.

He is survived by his wife, Donna, three children, Megan and Kelly Coughlin and Joseph Reid, his parents and six siblings. A funeral mass was held on Thursday., Jan. 28, at St. Madeleine's Catholic Church.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Santa Fe Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at St. Madeleine's Catholic Church, 17155 N.W. U.S. Hwy. 441, High Springs, FL 32643.

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