Salem — William R. "Coach" Gosselin, 84, of Salem, N.H., passed away on Saturday, October 5, 2013, at Wilmington Health Care Center, surrounded by his loving family. He was the beloved husband of Irene E. (Berube) Gosselin, to whom he was married for 60 years.
Born in Lawrence on January, 20, 1929, Coach was the son of the late George and Yvonne (Perrault) Gosselin. He attended St. Patrick's Elementary School in Lawrence and graduated from Central Catholic High School, where he was senior class president and excelled in football, baseball, basketball, and track. He then graduated from Tilton Prep School in Tilton, N.H., where he played football, basketball and baseball. He received his Bachelor of Arts in physical education from Arizona State University in 1951, where he was named to the all-conference football team and voted an AP All-American. He earned his Masters in Business Administration from Salem State College in 1963.
He served his country in the U.S. Army 187th Airborne during the Korean War, where he received the Purple Heart, Parachute Badge, Korean Service Medal with Bronze Star, and the Overseas Bar United Nations Service Medal.
Bill was a member of the Athletics Hall Of Fame at Central Catholic High School, Tilton Prep School, and Methuen High School. He received many honors from the Eagle Tribune. He was also awarded Athletic Director of the Year from District A, Eastern Massachusetts.
Bill was a physical education teacher and assistant football coach with the University of Rhode Island, an assistant football coach with Lawrence High School, a history teacher and head football coach with Woodbury High School in Salem, N.H., and a physical education teacher, head football coach, director of health, physical education, and athletics with Methuen High School, where he retired after 23 years as athletic director.
He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Massachusetts Retired Teachers Association, Massachusetts Retired Athletic Directors, an Arizona State University Alumni, and a Tilton Prep School and Central Catholic High School Alumni.
In his free time, he enjoyed reading, gardening, sports, and traveling to Arizona, Florida, Cape Cod, Canada, Jamaica, Bahamas, Paris, and New Mexico. He also enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and watching them play sports.
Bill will be deeply missed by his wife, Irene; five daughters, Christine Ann Gosselin and partner, Donald Brown, of Medford, Mass., Roberta Allison and her husband, Michael, of Medford, Bernadine Kosowicz and her husband, Kenneth of Windham, N.H., Jacqueline Hibbard and her husband, Charles, of Marblehead, Mass., and Jeanine Dufton and her husband, Craig, of Salem; two sons, William R. Gosselin Jr. and his wife, Nancy, of Woodbridge, Conn., and Thomas Gosselin and his partner, Eileen Doane of Windham; a sister, Claire Wadlinger and her husband, Joseph, of Topsfield, Mass.; three sisters-in-law, Jacqueline Winn and her husband, Charles, Mary Gosselin, and Janice Gosselin; a brother-in-law, Wess Roberts; 10 grandchildren, Jesse Gosselin and his wife, Jennifer, Mary Gosselin, Matthew Gosselin and his wife, Kimberly, Nina Gosselin, Olivia Allison, Richard, Colin, and Nicole Croteau, and Mitchell and Jacob Dufton; many nieces and nephews; and special friends, Skeets, Sylvia Scanlon, and Leo and Milly Seman.
He is predeceased by a daughter, Jennifer Gosselin; a sister, Roberta Roberts; and two brothers, George and Robert Gosselin.
Bill's family would like to offer a special thanks to the Wilmington Health Care Center, especially to Joseph Appo and Carl Godfrey, for all their comfort and care.
ARRANGEMENTS: Family and friends will honor and celebrate Bill's life by gathering for calling hours at the Kenneth H. Pollard Funeral Home, 233 Lawrence Street, Methuen, on Thursday, October 10, from 4 to 8 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial will take place on Friday, October 11, at 11: a.m., at St. Monica's Church, 212 Lawrence Street, Methuen. All guests are kindly asked to meet at St. Monica's Church. Burial will be private, and at the convenience of the family.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, in Bill's honor, memorial contributions be made to the William R. Gosselin Scholarship Fund, Methuen Alumni Association, c/o Arthur Nicholson, 90 Hampshire St., Methuen, MA 01844, or to the William R. Gosselin Scholarship Fund, Central Catholic High School, Office of Institutional Advancement, 300 Hampshire St., Lawrence, MA 01841.
For directions, or to send a condolence to Coach's family, please visit www.pollardfuneralhome.com. The Kenneth H. Pollard Funeral Home is honored to serve the Gosselin family.