Thomas F. Coughlin

thomas f. coughlin
Tom was born in Mount Vernon, New York to Thomas Francis Coughlin and Jean (Young) Coughlin. He graduated from New Rochelle High School, as a Regent's Scholar, in 1965. He attended I.I.T. in Chicago, and later Jamestown College in Jamestown, North Dakota. Tom served at the United States Army Intelligence School in Fort Holabird, Maryland as a student and an instructor from 1966 to 1969. He served one year in Vietnam. While serving stateside, he met his future wife, who was also serving at U.S.A.I.N.T.S, and immediately knew she was the one. Tom married Ruth Ann Melland in New Rochelle, New York on July 24, 1970. Tom worked as a Field Engineer for Eastman Kodak from 1974 until retiring in 2003. He was instrumental in installing blood analyzers and training healthcare workers throughout North Dakota, Minnesota, and South Dakota. He also installed the interfacing computer equipment used with CT scans and MRIs in hospital and mobile units in the tri-state area. He was a man of faith, a man of many skills, talents, and knowledge and will be greatly missed. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Dennis (Carol), his aunt Marie (Livy) Eiland, and his father and mother-in-law, Bennie and Jane Melland. He is survived by his wife, Ruth; his daughter Julia and granddaughter Madalyn; his son Eric; and his little dog Wrigley. A Memorial Service will take place at a later date. Burial has taken place at the Fargo National Cemetery, Harwood, ND. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center in Fargo. To sign the online guest book, please visit our website at

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  1. Tom was a great inspiration to many of us who participated in a regular Chesterton study group. I have met few people in my life who wrote so elegantly about tough issues. I am not sure where the years have gone as I had not seen Tom for many years. May all that he stood for live on through those of us who knew him.

    May God comfort Ruth and the rest of the family.

  2. Julia, Madalyn and family,

    So terribly sad to hear the news of your father’s/ Grandpa’s passing. I never personally met him, but I’ve worked with Julia for many many years. She is a dear friend! My thoughts and prayers are with you all and if there is anything I can do, please do not hesitate. Blessings.

  3. Dear Ruth,

    Please know we are thinking of you and praying for you during this very difficult time. May God give you and your family peace and comfort in knowing that Tom lived a very good life and is now in his Heavenly Home. Our deepest sympathy.

  4. Dear Ruth,
    So sad to hear about the passing of Tom. Our deepest sympathies go out to you and your family.

  5. Sincere condolences. I worked with Tom for many years and held him in the highest regard. He was a technical wizard, of course, but a man of absolute integrity. I treasure many of the lessons I learned from Tom. It was a gift to work with him.

  6. I had the privilege of working with Tom. He was truly a individual you were proud to be associated with during your career. We lost contact once he retired but I remember he talked endlessly about his granddaughter and their Saturday morning outings. Rest In Peace Tom.

    Sue Hart

  7. I was saddened to hear of Tom’s passing. When ever we had a connectivity issue with our digital imaging modalities I was always comforted when Tom was assigned the task, as I knew that he would stay on the issues until successful completion. I really enjoyed Tom’s knowledge, professional demeanor and great personality, we had a lot of fun working together and just enjoyed his company ! As a fellow Vietnam Era Veteran I appreciate Tom’s service to our Great Country and say Goodbye to a wonderful individual, Rest In Peace, Tom !

  8. I remember reading one of Tom’s pieces in The Forum in the early 90s. I was struck by the writing, the thought-process, and reached out to him. That started a tremendous relationship – one of the most special connections I’ve ever had.

    Tom had a way with words! Especially the written word. His thoughts put to paper (back in those days, you didn’t email the newspaper; you had to type it on paper, and mail it with an envelope and stamp) would grace the Opinion section every so often – not often enough, in my view.

    And music. What a master! Beethoven. Mozart. He made them come alive for me. To this day, I think of him every time I hear Act 2 Scene 1 from Wagner’s Parsifal.

    I don’t know if Tom suffered as he was leaving us; but he pointed out to me that we can see redemption through suffering in Parsifal.

  9. Ruth and Family
    I just heard about Tom’s passing, I’m so sorry for your loss. I haven’t seen you guys in many years. But I have such fond memories of Tom. I remember his love of movies, music, pets, family, and his great mind. So many things but the one thing that truly stood out was his love for his beautiful wife. Ruth your marriage will always stand out as a model of true love. I’m sending you my love and prayers.
    Always, Maria Peralta

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