CHELMSFORD - Frances T. (Coughlan) McDougall, a longtime resident of Chelmsford, passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 20, 2019, at Lowell General Hospital.
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She was born in Boston on January 24, 1937, and was the daughter of the late Francis J. and Helen E. (Barry) Coughlan.
Fran was raised in Newton where she graduated from Our Lady Help of Christians High School, and went on to earn her B.S. in Education from Framingham College. On June 18, 1960, she married Paul McDougall and settled in Woburn, MA where they started their family, and Fran started her teaching career.
In 1971, they settled in Fran’s beloved town of Chelmsford. While raising her family, Fran was a regular substitute teacher in the Chelmsford schools where she was affectionately known as "Sgt. McDougall”. Fran became a full-time classroom teacher in the Lowell public schools in the mid 1980’s. She taught at the McAuliffe School in Lowell for many years before her retirement.
Fran was an active and vocal member of the teachers union both in Lowell and in Chelmsford. In addition, she was always a very active member of her community. She held many town-elected positions such as Town Meeting Representative from 1989 – 2018, in 2009 she was honored with the Certificate of Achievement of 20 years of service. Fran was also a member of the sign committee and the civic committee for many years. She was a co-manager of the Chelmsford’s Farmers Market, a member of the parade committee, and worked for many years on the annual town census. Fran was passionate about politics and was a proud member of Greater Lowell Area Democrats. She worked on many local and national campaigns including local town elections, state senate, many presidential campaigns, and even managed the local area campaign office for Governor Deval Patrick’s 1st race for governor.
Fran is survived by her children; David McDougall and his wife Candace of Southampton, Robert McDougall of Manchester, NH, Kevin McDougall of Chelmsford, Paul McDougall and his wife Julie of Chelmsford, and Donna Burke and her husband Sean of Andover, nine grandchildren; Justin, Marissa, Sandra, Noelle, Finian, Anna, Liam, Meredith and Lorelei, and two great-grandchildren; Javian and Jeremiah. Fran is also survived by her former husband and great friend, Paul McDougall and his partner Diane Malloy. She also leaves her beloved sister, Elizabeth "Betty" Davis of Dedham and she was the sister-in-law of the late Edwin Davis.
Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, January 24th from 4 to 7 pm at the Blake Chelmsford Funeral Home, 24 Worthen St., Chelmsford.
A Mass will be celebrated on Friday at 11 o'clock at St. Mary Parish, 25 North Rd., Chelmsford. KINDLY MEET AT THE CHURCH.
Interment will be scheduled at a later date in Newton Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Fran’s honor to Budget Buddies, an organization created to provide financial coaching to low-income women, at 114 Turnpike Rd., #2D, Chelmsford, MA 01824.