Michael L. Coughlin

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Michael Lynn Coughlin, 66, of Garnavillo passed away peacefully on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids due to complications following heart bypass surgery.

Visitation was Friday, Sept. 8, at Morris Funeral Home in Garnavillo, and before services at Garnavillo Gospel Hallprior to funeral services.

Funeral services were Saturday, Sept. 9, at Garnavillo Gospel Hall.

Burial was at Garnavillo City Cemetery.

Michael was born on Nov. 25, 1956, in Kenmare, N.D., into the loving home of Mert and Janet Coughlin. He joined older brothers, Mark and Kevin, and was later joined by younger siblings, brother, Curtis and sister, Connie. His most endearing childhood memory was his mother’s scripture flash cards and being taught to love and serve God. He excelled in everything he took an interest in: academics, football, basketball, golf, music and singing. He graduated as valedictorian of his high school class in 1975.

He attended Northwestern College in Roseville, Minn., where he received his associate degree in Business Accounting. There, he met his beloved wife, Julia. They married on Aug. 18, 1979, in Garnavillo and recently celebrated 44 years together. They enjoyed spending time working on their historic home together. He never feared learning a new skill whether it be plumbing, electrical, drywall, tile etc. He worked lovingly on a perpetual to-do list.

He completed his education by earning a Bachelor’s degree in business management and Master’s degree in School Finance. He worked as business manager of Garnavillo Community Schools for 11 years where he helped with the transition of a sharing arrangement that became Clayton Ridge Schools. He later worked at the Prairie du Chien Community Schools for 11 years. He was hired as the CFO of Waterloo Community School in 2007 where he enjoyed the challenge of making numbers work while facilitating the needs of the district.

He enjoyed the fellowship of believers at the Garnavillo Gospel Hall for many years and was a source of encouragement to many there. He was most grateful for the nail scarred hands of his Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, whose love helped direct his life.

His greatest legacy is his family to whom he was devoted. He had 6 “favorite” children and found the utmost joy in every new grandchild. He was a selfless father who led through example, teaching with patience and long suffering. He gave up many evenings at home due to furthering his education, long commutes and attending strategic plan meetings so Julia could stay home and care for their children.

He will be profoundly missed and held in high honor by his faithful and devoted wife, Julia; his proud and loving children, Joshua (Ann) Coughlin of Garnavillo, Christianna (Justin) Aspenson of Seneca, Wis., Charitina (Cade) Loven of Decorah, Jason Coughlin of Garnavillo, Cherisha (Nathaniel) Levy of Enfield, NS Canada and Jesse Coughlin of Cedar Rapids; 20 “perfect” grandchildren, Chase, Livea, Carter, Jonah, Christian, Naomi, Sophia, Nora, Isabella, Titus, Selah, Cruz, Opal, Jaida, Emma, Asher, Caius, Wesley, Hadessah and Elizabeth, ages 16 to 6 months; his siblings, Mark (Vicki) Coughlin of Hugo, Minn.; Kevin (Carol) Coughlin of Lincoln, Neb.; Curtis (Tamera) of Omaha, Neb. and Connie (Greg) Norrie of Minot, N.D.; nieces and nephews and many other family. 

He will be greeted in heaven by his beloved parents.

Information is available at www.morrisfuneralhomes.com. Memorials may be sent to Morris Funeral Home (in care of Michael Coughlin), 207 S. First St., Guttenberg, IA 52052

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