On June 19, 2017, Janice Reddig Coggeshall went home to be with the Lord.
Jan was born on June 27, 1935 and raised in Rochester, New York, where she attended Irondequoit High School. She was a 1957 graduate of Wellesley College. She met and married Dr. Richard E. Coggeshall, while working as a mathematician at the National Security Agency in Washington, D.C. They lived in Chicago, Illinois, and Weston, Massachusetts, where their four children were born. Although an active volunteer, she cared first and foremost for her husband and children. Jan and Richard were married for 58 years.
After moving to Galveston in 1971, Jan became an active volunteer and President of many organizations, including the League of Women Voters. She also served as the “first woman” on many boards, including the Chamber of Commerce. Jan was elected to the Galveston City Council in 1979 and 1982 for three year terms. She was ultimately elected as the first woman mayor in 1984, and reelected in 1985 and 1988 for three year terms. She led the effort for the first Beach and Dune Management program for the Island, the Navy Homeport, the Trolley project, the UDAG development programs, Seawall development, creation of Windstorm Insurance Committee, the Economic Development and Industrial Revenue Boards and the Emergency Management Program after Hurricane Alicia in 1983. Governor White appointed her Chairman of the Oil Spill Committee for the state after 3 oil spills occurred in Galveston, particularly the Alvenus spill in 1985.
Jan was active in the US Conference of Mayors and was Chairman of the Women Mayors in the US from 1987 to 1989. As a result of her experience with Hurricane Alicia, she was appointed to serve as Mayor’s representative on the FEMA Advisory Committee for many years.
Jan served as President of the Houston Galveston Area Council, President of UTMB Children’s Hospital Advisory committee, President of UTMB School of Nursing Advisory Committee. She was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Rosenberg Library in 1991, to the Board of Directors in 1999 and became President of the Board of Directors in 2003. She was a founding and charter member of the Galveston College Foundation, where she helped create the Universal Access 21st Century Scholarship, serving as Chair of the Board since 2014. She also served twice as President of United Way and as President of the Galveston Housing Finance Corporation on which she served 12 years and during which Barton Square was built. Over the years, she served on many UTMB committees and worked on many projects for Galveston ISD. She also served on the Board of the Historic Downtown Partnership for 12 years. She was very proud to receive the GHF Steel Oleander Award in 1995.
In 1990, she joined Merrill Lynch as a Financial Advisor serving for 16 years, leaving the firm as Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor.
She is predeceased by her parents James and Geraldine Reddig and brothers, Burr and William.
She is survived by her husband, Dr. Richard Coggeshall, her daughter, Heidi Coggeshall, and her three sons, John Coggeshall and his wife Margaret Coggeshall, James Coggeshall and wife Jeanine Coggeshall, and Joshua Coggeshall and wife Janice Shimizu. She is also survived by her grandchildren Caleb, Elizabeth, Maya, and Aaron, and her brother Alan Reddig.
A service will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Galveston, 1903 Church St. at 2PM on Saturday, June 24, 2017. In lieu of flowers, Jan’s request was for donations in her memory be made to Rosenberg Library (2310 Sealy Avenue, Galveston TX 77550), the Galveston College Foundation - Universal Access Scholarship (4015 Avenue Q, Galveston TX 77551), or the First Presbyterian Church of Galveston.