Joseph W. Coughlin, 87, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY —  Joseph W. Coughlin, 87, Watertown, passed away Saturday morning, July 30, 2022, at Lewis County Nursing Home.

Joseph was born Oct. 10, 1934, in Watertown, a son of W. Montegomery and Irene M. Lynch Coughlin. He was a graduate of Mt. Assumption Institute, Plattsburgh and attended Clarkson College.

On Nov. 7, 1953, he married Claire M. Monette at St. Peter’s Church, Plattsburgh. Mrs. Coughlin died Nov. 1, 2016.

Joseph was an engineer for NYS Department of Transportation for 37 1/2 years, retiring March 29, 1991.

He was a communicant of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church and was very active in various church related activities.

Joe enjoyed taking his family camping all over the United States and Canada. He loved gardening and landscaping, wood working, swimming, ice skating, snowmobiling, bike and motorcycle riding, and was an avid snowshoer. He was an Eagle Scout and had received trophies for ski jumping and pistol shooting.

At age 46 he took up mountain climbing and became a Black River Chapter member of the Adirondack Mountain Club, becoming a “46er” that same year, the only one to accomplish this. In 1984 he became a “111er” of the Appalachian Mountain Club and continued to climb peaks all over the United States into his early 80s. He especially enjoyed his annual New Year’s Day climb of a peak.

He is survived by his five children, Mary Rose Sheldon and husband Eric, Adams, Patrick M. and companion Dawn Bartlett, Watertown, Joseph W. Jr. and wife Jeanette, Sand Springs, OK, Irene M. Stapleton and husband Kevin, Greensboro, NC, and Shawn C., Greensboro, NC; 10 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Along with his parents, Joseph was predeceased by two sons, Michael in 1961 and Stephen F. in 2019, and a brother and wife, James M. and Elizabeth Coughlin.

The funeral Mass will be celebrated 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9, at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery. The funeral Mass will be live streamed on the church’s Facebook page.

Arrangements are entrusted with Cummings Funeral, Inc.

Online condolences to his family may be posted at

In lieu of flowers donations in Joseph’s name may be made to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church, 320 W. Lynde St., Watertown, NY 13601.