Mary H. "Mimi" Coogan
December 19, 1934 ~ February 20, 2023
Born on December 19, 1934, in Torrington, CT, she was one of two children of Thomas Lancelot and Grace Marie (Kahn) Hubbard. Mimi graduated from Torrington High School in 1952 and then the College of New Rochelle in New York in 1956 with a degree in Sociology. While attending graduate school at the Catholic University in Washington D.C., she met her future husband, 1st Lieutenant Richard (Dick) Coogan, USMC. Her fiery red hair and movie star looks had the young officer hooked immediately, and a year later they were married in Harwinton, CT. Their family grew when their first son was born in 1960 and five more children quickly followed, as their Marine Corps travels took them to North Carolina, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, California, and Hawaii. Dick’s final assignments with the Marine Corps were in the Washington, D.C. area and so the family settled in Northern Virginia upon Dick’s retirement from the military in 1978. Together, Mimi and Dick spent the next thirty years as agents with the real estate firms of Shannon & Luchs and Weichert Realtors. They made as successful a team in business as they did in parenting; Mimi’s glittering personality balanced with management skills were a key factor in this success.
Mimi was an amazing mother. During one six-month period while Dick was stationed overseas, Mimi managed a home with six children aged seven and under, thousands of miles away from any family or friends. She transitioned the family to each new and unknown location with grace and apparent effortlessness. Though Dick may have been a Marine Corps officer, Mimi was the family disciplinarian, keeping their four boys and two girls in line and sitting up straight at the dinner table (that behavior encouraged by threat of sticking a yardstick down their backs). While raising her children, Mimi taught CCD at St. Luke Catholic Church, and spent countless hours driving her children to sports practices, school events and other activities, as well as no small number of trips to the ER to get a child’s broken bone or sliced arm repaired.
While often quite proper (no white shoes after Labor Day!) Mimi was also fun-loving and sometimes shocked her children with acts such as tossing cubes of Jell-O across the kitchen table. The kitchen table itself was a sign of Mimi’s perception and determination – the large round avocado and ivory Formica lazy-Susan table she had custom-made (over Dick’s objections) for $125 in about 1971 is still the centerpiece of the family kitchen in McLean. Mimi loved to cook and bake, poring over the Food section of the newspaper, and constantly testing new recipes with her family and for her friends at weekly bridge games. She created special memories with each of her grandchildren, such as baking homemade marshmallows with Sarah and grinding fresh applesauce for Sean and Joey then adding red food coloring to spice it up!
Above all, Mimi was adored as the maternal leader of her extended family, which included six children and ten grandchildren, and loved nothing more than hosting her family for holidays and “birthdays of the month” celebrations. Her favorite was the “August Birthdays” party where she recreated memories from the family’s years on Oahu with a Coogan-style luau with “Huli Huli Chicken” and pineapples, tiki torches and leis. Year-round, Mardi Gras beads could be found hanging on most of the doorknobs in the house, and she found delight in colorful feather boas. She truly was “spunk and sparkle” in a small package!
Mimi chose the name “Gran’ma”, and absolutely adored her ten grandchildren Sean, Jimmy, Joey, Kaitlyn, Sarah, Tommy, Tallulah, Mary, Bonnie, and Pearl, and step-granddaughter Miranda. She looked forward with tremendous excitement to the upcoming birth of her first great-grandchild to Sean and his wife Maria. Her grands could do no wrong – if told that one of them had been naughty, she’d exclaim “not MY Tommy!” or “not MY Mary!”
Mimi was a life-long learner and a voracious reader, with a never-ending list of new books “on hold” at the Fairfax County library. She highlighted articles and clipped stories, sending them with handwritten notes to the children and grandchildren she thought would also be interested. She was immensely curious, always wanting to see new buildings or shops or experiences she’d heard about. She and Dick traveled a few times each year for road races he entered, with Mimi “helping” select the race locations based on where she wanted to visit. Her interests were varied and sometimes unpredictable: she listened to the Top Country Countdown every Sunday after church (in 2005 her favorite song was Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off), rarely missed watching an evening Nats game, had an enviable green thumb along with a sunny kitchen window ledge, and loved to display simple but beautiful fresh flowers she’d arranged.
Mimi was deeply involved with The Shepherd’s Center of McLean-Arlington-Falls Church, serving as a volunteer driver for many years, and as Secretary of the Board of Directors.
Mimi is survived by her devoted husband and her children R. Christopher Coogan (Jan Marie Coogan), Eileen S. Coogan (Bernie Moye), Melanie Coogan Bryan (Joel Bryan), Thomas L. Coogan (Dawn Marie Coogan), John S. Coogan (Alison Coogan), and Robert Hubbard Coogan (Tanya McAdory Coogan). She also leaves behind her grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
The family will greet visitors on Thursday, February 23 from 3 pm – 5 pm at Money & King Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 171 W Maple Ave, Vienna, VA. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Luke Catholic Church, 7001 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA on Friday, February 24 at 10:30 am; inurnment at Arlington National Cemetery will take place at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Shepherd’s Center of McLean-Arlington-Falls Church (1205 Dolley Madison Blvd., McLean VA 22101, www.scmafc.org).