Community Awards

Tom Coughlin Lifetime Achievement Award

Tom-Coughlin Tom Coughlin (who shares the spelling of his name with the former coach of the New York Giants) was born and raised in Central Valley, NY. A 1959 graduate of Monroe-Woodbury High School, Tom received a bachelor's degree from Fordham University in secondary education in 1963 and did his graduate work at SUNY New Paltz. While in college and during the start of his teaching career, Tom was a driver for Dugan's Bakery, delivering baked goods to many boarding houses throughout Sullivan County. He taught math in the Goshen School District for one year before coming to SS Seward; Tom retired from Seward in January of 1997, after 33 years of teaching. While at Seward, he served as both President and Treasurer of the Florida Teachers' Association/School Related Personnel. During summer breaks from school, Tom was known as "Mr. C" and cooked at Braeside Camp from 1970 to 1998.

Tom has been an active member of his community including delivering Meals on Wheels and serving on the Braeside Camp Board since 1999. Many of his volunteer activities have been with his church—assisting Don Roach (the late husband of this year's Citizen of the Year) with maintaining St. Edward's, serving as a lector and a Eucharistic Minister at St. Edward's until it closed in 2007 and continuing his work at St. Stephen's in Warwick including scheduling the lectors. Tom has been an active member of the Knights of Columbus, Council #4952, since 1999 (including serving as the Grand Knight and the Treasurer) and Assembly #0776, 4th Degree, for more than a decade. He also worked during his retirement, often serving as the greeter at Purta Funeral Home and working at the local polling places for many of the elections. When not volunteering or working at one of his post retirement "gigs", Tom can often be found watching sports and hoping for his version of a Trifecta—a Yankees' victory, a Cubs' victory and, much to Joe Mazz's chagrin, a Mets' loss.

Upon arriving at Seward, Tom met the "other" math teacher, Shirley Barnes, and the two married in the summer of 1966. Tom and Shirley had two daughters together — Christine (who suffered from Epidermolysis Bullosa and died in 1980) and Maureen. He gained a son in 2006 when Maureen married Michael Torelli.

Tom is humbled and honored to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. He and his family will be forever grateful to the Florida community for the way they supported his daughter, Christine, including two walkathons held in Chris's honor that raised significant monies for DEBRA (Dystrophic Epiderniolysis Bullosa Research Association). Tom is also grateful for the support be has received while battling bladder cancer since December of 2014. He may have lost his leg in the battle but his determination is stronger than. ever! Special thanks to the Knights of Columbus who nominated him for his award and to his oncologists — Dr. Dinsmore at Crystal Run Health Care and Dr. Iyer at Memorial Sloan Kettering — who have worked miracles!

 


Fran Roach – Citizen of the Year

Fran Roach Born and raised in Florida, Fran Roach attended and graduated from St. Joseph's School and SS Seward Institute. Immediately after graduation, Fran worked in Middletown at Dunn and Bradstreet.

In January of 1957, she married Don Roach. Fran and Don had four children: Donald Jr., Diane, Mark and Matthew. She now has nine grandchildren: Michael, Stephen, Amy, Daniel, Jennifer, Megan, Jonathan, Sara and Alexa. For forty years, Fran and Don not only raised a family together; they ran Don's Luncheonette in the village from July of 1956 to January of 1996. Fran is still known for making delicious coleslaw!

Fran is truly a pillar of the Florida community. She is an active member of the following organizations: the Florida Family Fun Fest Committee (for 20 years), the Seward Alumni Association, the American Legion Auxiliary Post 1250, the Columbiettes, St. Joseph's Church, and the Holy Rosary Society. She is the secretary for both the Seward Senior Citizens and the Orange County Senior Council. She delivers meals for Meals on Wheels. Fran also taught CCD at St. Edward's Church for many years.

When Fran isn't busy volunteering or attending a meeting, she loves to spend time with her family, especially watching her grandchildren play sports.

Congratulations and thank you, Fran, for making our community better through all of your volunteer commitments!