Father Howard Coughlin, of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, dies

SIMPSONVILLE — Father Howard L. Coughlin, pastor emeritus of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, died Feb. 17 in his residence. He was 81.           

Howard Louis Coughlin was born on Jan. 3, 1927, in Youngstown, Ohio,  a son of Joseph A. and Gertrude Handel Coughlin.

He was a graduate of Lincoln High School in Midland, Penn., and worked part-time during his teen years in the local steel mills.

He entered the Trappist Monastery, Abbey of Gethsemani, Trappist, Ky., at the age of 20, where he made his first vows. In 1949 he was sent with a group of 30 men to begin a new monastery, Our Lady of Mepkin at Moncks Corner.

Father Coughlin was a United States Army veteran and served in Bavaria, Germany, during World War II.

He was ordained a priest Aug. 22, 1953, by Bishop John J. Russell in Mepkin Abbey. He was incardinated into the Diocese of Charleston from the Trappist order in 1968.

Father Coughlin served as associate pastor of St. Joseph Church in Columbia from 1968-73; as pastor of St. Andrew Church in Bluffton from 1973-78; and of St. Philip Church in Lake City from 1978-83.

He served as pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton from 1983-2002, and was a founding pastor of St. Mary Magdalene Church in Simpsonville.

In 2007, he celebrated 54 years in the priesthood.

Father Coughlin was chaplain of the Catholic War Veterans, L.J. O’Toole Jr. Post 1909 in Simpsonville; a member of the VFW Post 9273 at Donaldson Center, Piedmont; and was fourth degree and chaplain of the George L. Gagnan Knights of Columbus Council 8182 in Mauldin.

He also was an avid bowler and an eye donor.

Father Coughlin is survived by two sisters, Agnes C. Daniels of Worth, Ill., and Sister Marian Coughlin, SND, of Chardon, Ohio; and two brothers, Robert J. Coughlin of Cincinnati, Ohio, and C. Leo Coughlin of Binghamton, N.Y.

He was preceded in death by three sisters, Teresa Coughlin, Alice Honaker and Elizabeth Lucas; and four brothers, Joseph, Thomas, William and Jack “John” Coughlin.

The Mass of Christian burial was celebrated Feb. 21 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church and he was buried in Graceland East Memorial Park.

Memorials may be made in Father Coughlin’s name to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, 8 Gillin Drive, Simpsonville, SC 29680.