Lillian M. Blake Coughlin was the school nurse at St. Francis elementary school for nearly 30 years, curing countless ills, scrapes and sad faces with Rolaids, lemon drops and a smile. She was tough and firm – a true Arizona native – but always had a glint in her eye and a comforting word. She was loved by her family and she loved them fiercely, especially her children, Timothy, Michael, Patrick and her beloved Margaret Beardsley. She survived her first born Catherine and husband Daniel by more than two decades, but carried their memory with her. She always looked on the bright side of things and made everyone feel special. She was also loved for her straight talk and unwillingness to mince words. Lillian was a grandmother to eight grandchildren, Kate, Kristin, Joseph, Daniel, Ro, Erin, Allison and Tory. She passed away on May 3, 2008. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Betty Blake and brother-in-law Frank Coughlin, as well as numerous nieces and nephews in the Coughlin and Blake families. Lillian was born August 31, 1922, grew up in Phoenix and attended St. Mary’s High School graduating in 1939. She attended the University of California at Berkeley and thereafter graduated from St. Vincent’s Hospital School of Nursing in 1944. Upon graduating from St. Vincent’s she enlisted in the United States Army attaining the rank of 1st Lieutenant. In the Army is where she met Dan, whom she married on May 26, 1947. While Lillian left the service to raise a family Dan stayed in and retired in 1961. They returned to Phoenix where Lillian started at St. Francis elementary and Xavier College Prep as the school nurse in 1965. The girls at Xavier appreciated Lillian’s advice and counsel which was sought after and valued for almost three decades. For her own children a stomach ache without a fever was never enough to miss school, and her determination ensured that all four children finished college. As Lillian’s own mother, Ella Lacy Blake’s health declined, Lillian always found time at the end of her busy day to visit with her own mom. For the last decade, her children and close friends would visit Lillian. She treasured these times with family and friends, and her daughter Margaret continued the wonderful tradition started by Lillian of a daily visit with mom. Lillian was a tremendous spirit who was well known throughout the city of Phoenix and will be greatly missed by her many friends and relatives.
Visiting hours will be held at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, located at 4800 E. Indian School Rd., from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6, 2008. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. at St. Francis Xavier Church, located at 4715 N. Central Avenue on Wednesday, May 7, 2008. Lillian’s final resting place will be with her beloved husband Dan at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Etched in Our Hearts Capital Campaign for the benefit of St. Francis Xavier Jesuit Catholic Community at 4715 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85012 in the name of Lillian Coughlin.