Frances McDougall

Frances T McDougall (Coughlan)

January 24, 1937 - January 20, 2019
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CHELMSFORD - Frances T. (Coughlan) McDougall, a longtime resident of Chelmsford, passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 20, 2019, at Lowell General Hospital.

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.

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Service Details

  • Visitation

    January 24, 2019 | 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    January 24, 2019 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Blake Chelmsford Funeral Home
    24 Worthen Street
    Chelmsford, MA 01824
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Mass of Christian Burial

    January 25, 2019 | 11:00am
    January 25, 2019 11:00am
    Saint Mary Parish
    25 North Road
    Chelmsford, MA 01824
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rev. Thomas Corcoran


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Private Condolence

Laura Petersen

Posted at 07:19pm
In the early 1980’s, Ms. MacDougall helped
me through a difficult time when I was child. I had such a severe case of the mononucleosis virus that I had to spend several months out of school I’m the 6th grade recouping my health. She came several days a week to my house to tutor me and keep my education on track so that I would not fall behind and have to stay back. We worked so hard together at my kitchen table , and shared the love learning and had such fun in what was an isolating and far from easy time for me. I remember saying to her “I heard you were a tough sub and I was worried you would not like me, but you sure are super nice!” and her eyes twinkled and she said “now Laura, that’s our secret- don’t let the other kids know I’m a softy- it’s taken a lot of work to build that up”. I went back to school ahead of the game because of that lovely woman. God bless her- she made a difference in my life. My condolences to her loved ones.
-Laura Petersen

Lynn M Marcella

Posted at 04:36pm
I am so sorry I will not be able to attend Fran's services. She was such a special person!
As a member of the Parade Committee I remember how excited she was a couple of years ago when the Farmer's Market Float won first prize - she was so very proud of that and appreciated all the hard work that went into it by her family.
As a member of the Rotary Club we honored her and Kathy O'Brien with a "Service Above Self" award for all of their hard work with the Farmer's Market last December and they were very much appreciative of the honor.
I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her at the Farmer's Market and also when she would stop into my office for a visit.
She was a wonderful part of what Chelmsford is all about! Thank you for sharing her with all of us!
Lynn Marcella

Posted at 02:09pm
Fran's memory will live on in Chelmsford as her gregarious personality, passionate discussions and unselfish contributions have made a lasting impression. Her assistance in the Town Clerk's Office was always appreciated and her presence was a joy. I loved listening to the discussions and the laughter as she and her dear friend, Kathleen O'Brien, went about their volunteer tasks. Our hearts go out to her family and our love for her will be in our hearts forever!

Elaine MacDonald

Posted at 08:04pm
Fran was a delight. I loved her honesty. I will miss her very much. Elaine MacDonald.

Posted at 07:30pm
Donna & family, So sorry for your loss. Peg Marshall

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