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RIP Marie Cogan, who passed away at midnight at age 93.  My oldest brother married Marie's wonderful daughter Jill when I was about 15 or 16.  Marie was a great woman who lost her only son Jack to AIDS, her husband John to Alzheimers, and her only daughter Jill to cancer.  They were such a great and close family who fully supported Jack and his partner regardless of their traditional Catholic beliefs.  John and Marie moved to California from New Jersey after losing Jack so that they could be near Jill and my brother and their four kids.  Marie never became bitter or defeated even with all the loss she suffered and was a great grandmother who happily got to see her first great grandson born to my oldest nephew and his wife last year.  She loved her chardonnay so I am going to open a bottle this evening to toast the long life of a tough old gal.

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RIP Ms. McLuggage.

This is way more information than any of you need about someone you didn't know and have never heard of, but the obit my brother wrote for Marie follows. Marie and John were part of my life since I was 14 years old, and way more a part of my family than any other sibling's in-laws. This really got me at scourges. Read on if interested.

Marie Cogan. Aug. 29, 1922 – May 4, 2015

New Jersey native and Contra Costa resident since 1991, Marie Cogan passed away May 4 in her Clayton apartment.

The 92-year-old was born in Elizabeth, NJ to Irish American parents, August Mueller and Madeline Smith. She married her high school sweetheart, John Cogan, on Jan. 6, 1945 while he was serving in the US Navy. Marie wrote him letters and sent boxes of goodies with peanuts and crossword puzzles while he spent three years in Brazil during World War II.

They had son John Joseph (Jack) Cogan on Feb. 4, 1946 and daughter Jill Ann Cogan on Feb. 24, 1950 and then settled on Monica Court in Avenel, NJ for over 30 years.

After John retired from a near 40-year career with Exxon the couple moved to California in 1991 to be close to their four grandchildren. She was a voracious reader and loved to jog. She loved to host dinners and parties at her home, none more so than on St. Patrick’s Day, her favorite holiday. The couple enjoyed traveling to Ireland, England and Alaska. They also made several cross country drives to visit their daughter’s growing family.

Marie made friends wherever she went. Son-in-law Jay Bedecarre says she knew more of his neighbors in Clayton than he did. At Diamond Terrace her friends said she was an unbelievably funny woman who, when asked what she wanted people to know about her responded, “That I’m a beautiful, skinny blond with a great sense of humor.”

She lost her immediate family to three medical scourges of the past four decades: son Jack succumbed to AIDS in 1989, husband John to Alzheimer’s in 2005 and daughter Jill to breast cancer in 2007. John and Marie were married 60 years and he died three days after their 60th anniversary.

She is survived by son-in-law John Jay Bedecarre, granddaughter Juliene Marie Bedecarre and grandson Jared William Bedecarre of Clayton; grandson John Jason (Emily) Bedecarre and great grandson Ted William Bedecarre of Corte Madera and grandson Justin Thomas Bedecarre of San Francisco.

She is also survived by six nephews and three nieces, all on the East Coast, and sister-in-law Alyce Miller of New Jersey. She spoke almost daily with niece Jean Shipley, who was her Aunt Marie’s “second daughter.”

The family thanks her caregivers Jennifer, Flora, Leah and Amy and Jill’s dear friend Ellen Herdegen for their love and kindness. The family said that anyone wishing to make a remembrance in her name can do so to the Cancer Support Community of Walnut Creek, Alzheimer’s Foundation of America or a charity of your choice.

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