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Shirley Coughlin

June 21, 1924-June 23, 2010

Shirley M. Coughlin, 86, of Detroit Lakes, died Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at her home, surrounded by family and under the care of Hospice Of The Red River Valley.

A private, family celebration of Shirley's life was held on Thursday, July 1.

Shirley Mae Fellows was born to Earle and Mary (Ramsey) Fellows on June 21, 1924 in Laconia, N.H. She graduated from Goffstown (NH) High School in 1942, and then attended Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Va., before earning a degree in education from Boston College in Boston, Ma.

Shirley taught in a number of schools in the New England area and, during the summers, worked as a waitress at Howard Johnson's Restaurants, where she earned more in tips than she did from her teaching salary. She later taught in U. S. Government schools in Japan and in Germany.

Shirley was united in marriage to Fred Coughlin on July 3, 1965 in Grasmere, N.H. They moved to Detroit Lakes, where she taught in the Detroit Lakes Public Schools during the 1965-66 school year. She then taught in numerous communities throughout the United States, and was also an accomplished violinist.

Shirley and Fred returned to Detroit Lakes in 1994 and from there, traveled throughout the world. In addition to her travels, Shirley directed the Grace Lutheran Choir in Detroit Lakes for many years.

Shirley enjoyed time with her family in Detroit Lakes, Idaho and and New England; traveling; being a seamstress; cooking; and being a choir director.

Surviving Shirley are her husband, Fred Coughlin of Detroit Lakes; a daughter, Bonnie (Bob) Martin of Boise, Idaho; four grandchildren, including Lisa and Holly of Boise and John and Jessica of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; nine great grandchildren; a sister, Ruth Heuss of Concord, N.H., and a brother, Dick Fellows of Plymouth, N.H.

Preceding her in death was a son, Douglas.

Shirley's request was that memorials be given to Grace Lutheran Church in lieu of flowers.

David-Donehower Funeral Home is serving the family. Memories may be shared online at