John Francis “Frank” Coogan, 88, of Vernon, Connecticut, USA died on Thursday, January 26, at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford. Frank was born in Kilkenny city on New Year’s Eve, 1923, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Coogan of Green Street, Kilkenny City. He was one of 12 children and he is survived by two of his siblings, Robert Canice “Ken” Coogan of Kilkenny, Ireland, and Bernadette Hyde of Wiltshire, England, and their spouses; as well as his sister-in-law, Nuala Coogan, Galway. Frank was predeceased by nine of his siblings Jim, Josephine, Mae, Ann, William, Patrick Joseph, Michael; and two infant children, Queenie and Blossie.
He attended St. John’s primaryMonastery in Kilkenny during his primary and secondary school years and he began work at a young age. Frank drove a bread van for Mulhall’s Bakery in Kilkenny when he was a teenager and he later acted as chauffeur for both the late Dr. Phair, Bishop of Ossory, and E.T. Keane, one founder of the The Kilkenny People.
Frank ran his own confectionery and bakery business (Bawnree Products) in Dublin for several years. He later became a regional manager for Lucan Dairies in Dublin, Ireland, travelling around the country setting up depots in all of the southern counties. He retired from his position at Lucan Dairies, became a US Citizen, and moved to the United States in 1957, first settling in Pennsylvania and later in New Jersey. Frank married his wife of 44 years, Bridget Regina Coogan, on August 10, 1968, in Astoria, Queens, N.Y. They settled in Vernon and had two daughters, Deirdre Mary and Brenda Anne, who were the pride of his life. Frank was predeceased in 1985 by his then 15 year-old daughter, Deirdre Mary, and this loss was one of the greatest burdens in his life. He is survived by his daughter, Dr. Brenda Anne Coogan O’Leary, and her husband, Mr. Scott Allen O’Leary, of Burlington, as well as his two beloved granddaughters, Aine Deirdre O’Leary and Clara Fallon O’Leary. His grandchildren dearly loved their Pop and his weekends often included playing with the girls after Mass on Sunday. In addition to his immediate family, Frank is survived by many loving nieces and nephews as well as many precious friends who were like family to him. Frank was also a longtime member of the Irish American Home in Glastonbury, where he enjoyed his passion was hurling and the Kilkenny Cats. He retired from International Fuel Cells (United Technologies) in 1991, and he thoroughly enjoyed his years of retirement. Frank regularly returned to Kilkenny to visit the Coogan family in Green street and later Smithlands Court and life long friends including the late Patrick “Chunky” O’Brien and the late Liam Renehan. All who knew Frank will remember him as a jovial man who appreciated all of his blessings and lived his life to the fullest. His concern for others was foremost in his mind and his loyalty as a friend, spouse, father, and brother was unwavering.
A Funeral Mass was held at St. Bernard’s Church in Rockville on January 30 followed by burial at St. Bernard’s Cemetery, Rockville, Vernon, Connetticut.