Carmelita Coolahan, 91

Nurse and volunteer

July 07, 2008|By JACQUES KELLY

Carmelita M. Coolahan, a retired nurse, died Thursday of complications from old age at her Cambridge home. The former Wilkens Avenue resident was 91.

Born Carmelita Lehman in Baltimore and raised in Westminster, she was a 1932 graduate of St. John's High School. She attended classes at what was then Western Maryland College and was a 1938 honors graduate of the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing.

In 1940, she married Dr. John F. Coolahan Sr., a general practitioner.

Mrs. Coolahan was a member of St. Agnes Hospital Auxiliary for several decades and was its president from 1960 to 1961 and from 1961 to 1963. To celebrate National Hospital Week in 1963 - and the hospital's centennial - she made the clothing for 87 dolls that represented the personnel at the hospital. The dolls were displayed at the hospital and at the central Enoch Pratt Free Library.

After raising her family, Mrs. Coolahan returned to nursing and served at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the pediatric intensive care unit.

Mrs. Coolahan played bridge and enjoyed sewing, needlework and dabbling in the stock market. She also enjoyed her Irish heritage - her mother, Ella Patricia Roddy, was born in Creevy in Ballaghaderreen in Roscommon, Ireland.

Mrs. Coolahan had been a Florida resident before moving to Cambridge almost eight years ago.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Mary, Refuge of Sinners Catholic Church, Hambrooks Boulevard and Glasgow Street in Cambridge.

Survivors include two sons, John F. Coolahan Jr. of Tampa, Fla., and Mark E. Coolahan of Severna Park; four daughters, Marion Coolahan Thomas of Cambridge, Patricia Coolahan Smith of Catonsville, Eileen Coolahan of Cambridge and Valerie Coolahan Laupert of Fort Myers, Fla.; a sister, Mary Michiak of Baltimore; a brother, Joseph Lehman of Baltimore; 17 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren. A daughter, Barbara Coolahan Mack, died in 1981. A son, Kevin Patrick Coolahan, died in 1984. Her husband also died in 1984.

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