Sylvia Louise Young Cough

OBIT - Sylvia CoughBAR HARBOR — Sylvia Louise Young Cough, 89, died, Dec.18, 2014, in Bar Harbor. She was born June 7, 1925, the daughter of Dana and Lillian (Johnston) Young. She grew up in Bar Harbor. While in school she was active in band, chorus, drama, the Latin club and was a member of the National Honor Society. She had lots of fun times with her good friends, Connie Ells Armstrong and Vanessa (Hall) McKay. She had perfect attendance throughout all her school years and also her years attending Sunday school at the Congregational Church in Bar Harbor. At her graduation from BHHS in 1943, she received the Pineo Gold Watch Award.

After graduation in 1943, she and a friend moved to the Presque Isle Army/Air Force base and studied to become airplane mechanics to help out the war effort. At her own admission when she first arrived she didn’t know the difference between a nut and a bolt and after three weeks she was informed that she would not be a mechanic. However, by then her school records had been received and she became the secretary and payroll clerk for the vice administrator of civilian personnel. She received three promotions within 15 months. Although she was adapting to her new life in Presque Isle she missed her family, so when she learned of a position available in Bar Harbor she transferred from the War Department to the Interior Department in Bar Harbor and became the secretary to Acadia National Park Superintendent Benjamin L. Hadley and assistant to the chief clerk. At that time only four people were employed at the office, there were three full-time rangers and a 10-man maintenance crew. Her family barely escaped Bar Harbor via Seal Harbor during the fire of 47. On Nov. 5, 1948, she married Bernard “Sonny” Cough and they started their family. She continued working for the park service until 1953. In the ’60s, Sylvia became the second secretary of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, which at that time was a small organization and many duties fell on her. She was able to do the job out of her home while taking care of four children. She also rented rooms out of her house to seasonal summer workers and did the books and payroll for many of the family businesses throughout the years. She was a very busy lady but made time to escape with her good friend, Barbara Silk to walk and hike in Acadia National Park, and they enjoyed a 60-year friendship. Barbara’s son, John, became Sylvia’s groundskeeper the last two years and they were very fond of each other.

Sybe and Sonny could be seen dancing from the time they started dating through most of their lives, including at the Way Back Balls and square dancing. They spent many hours over decades, sailing with family, old friends and new acquaintances mostly in and around the Frenchman Bay area but also in the Florida Keys and the Caribbean. They also played doubles tennis with their friends. Sylvia looked forward to shopping with her sister, Judy and other family members. She also enjoyed daily lunches at Jordan’s in Bar Harbor, usually with one or more of her family. She said it was her “social life” and everyone at Jordan’s was so good to her; they even had a special coffee cup for her. She loved sending cards and always wrote such thoughtful notes. She never forgot a birthday or anniversary, not just family but all her friends she met through all of her years, and most recently she enjoyed her correspondence with Florence Wittwer. In the last months of her life it became difficult for her to leave her house and she was thankful for the wonderful care she received from the Cahoon Care ladies, her family, Dr. Gilmore and eventually Hospice.

She will be sadly missed by her four children and their families: Suzanne and her husband, James Corbett, Richard Cough and his wife, Heidi Wittwer, Steve Cough and his wife Ann, Tom Cough and his wife, Rhonda; grandchildren include, Julie Corbett Malloy, April Cough Hansbury, Theresa Corbett Fronczak and husband, Jason, Andrew Cough and wife, Layne, Ryan Cough and wife, Holly, Benjamin Cough, Bernard Kiernan Cough; great grandchildren, Taylor, Josh, Elijah, and Abrahm Malloy, Georgia, Finn and Eli Hansbury, Belle and Brody Fronczak, and Alia Lee Cough; and great- great-grandson, Mason Madore. She will be missed by her special sister-in-law, Vernice Young; and nieces Wanda and Marilyn. She was predeceased by her husband, Sonny; her sister Judy Young, her brother Richard Young, and her grandson, Jamie Corbett

Memorial services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014, at the Bar Harbor Congregational Church, 29 Mt. Desert St., with the Rev. Rob Benson officiating. Donations may be made to the Congregational Church of Bar Harbor, 29 Mt. Desert St., Bar Harbor, ME 04609. Arrangements by Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert. Condolences may be expressed at

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