Joan Frey Coughlin, 83, Point Peninsula

POINT PENINSULA —  Joan Frey Coughlin, 83, of Point Peninsula, NY, passed away on July 16, 2020. surrounded by her friends and family in her home of 40 years.

Joan was born on April 19, 1937, in Watertown, the daughter of Ruth and Milton Frey. A graduate of Watertown High School she played the organ for two separate churches and went on to attend secretarial school where she learned to type with laser speed and precision.

She met her husband, Airman Thomas A. Coughlin III, on a blind date and was immediately taken by his striking resemblance to Elvis Presley. They went on to have three daughters, the youngest of whom, Tracy, suffered from profound intellectual and multiple disabilities. This began the family’s personal journey of caring for a disabled child and led them to be instrumental in the creation of the Jefferson County Association for Retarded Children in Watertown.

After a brief, few years living in Albany for Tom’s work, Joan and Tom purchased a campground and marina on Point Peninsula called Shangri-La. This property was complete with a restaurant, several rental units, and a bait shop. Following Tom’s sudden death in 2001, Joan continued to manage the business with her signature mixture of industriousness and pizzazz. She always had a full house on Friday nights for her hand-breaded fish fries! She made many treasured friends during her years on the lake, and delighted in watching new generations of campers come of age on the shores of Chaumont Bay. Her resilient spirit and her ability to maintain her sense of humor and warmth throughout life’s challenges made her an inspiration to those who knew her.

Joan is survived by a sister, Carol (John) Berry; her oldest daughter, Laurie Felter; her middle daughter Kelly Coughlin and her husband Sean Byrne; her three grandchildren, Zachary Felter, Jesse (Kelly) Felter, and Sinead Byrne; and her two great-granddaughters Ruby and Alice Felter.

She was predeceased by her husband, Tom, her youngest daughter, Tracy, and her son-in-law, Don Felter.

Joan moves on now to discover if the splendor of heaven can hold a candle to the Shangri-La she loved and tended here on Earth for so many years. She will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.

There will not be any services, but donations made to either Hospice of Jefferson County or ARC of Jefferson County are greatly appreciated.

Arrangements are with Frederick Bros. Funeral Home, Theresa, NY.

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