J. Michael Coogan, scientist

J. Michael Coogan, 81, a scientist who worked for NASA and the State Department before becoming a nurse and consultant, died Jan. 27 at his home in Rockville.

He had complications from a fall, said his wife Patricia Coogan.

Mr. Coogan worked for NASA from the late 1950s until the early ’70s, including at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt. His research involved satellites, rockets and analysis of planetary atmospheres.

At the State Department, he served as science attache in Paris and military liaison in Turkey.

In the late 1980s, he worked as a nurse at George Washington University Hospital and for Kaiser Permanente. From 1996 to 2008, did public health consulting.

John Michael Coogan was a Seattle native and served in the Navy from 1953 to 1957.

He received a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Washington in 1953, a master’s degree in biophysics and space sciences from Stanford University in 1966, a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Catholic University in 1987 and a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Maryland in 1993.

Mr. Coogan was an Eagle Scout. He held leadership positions with the board at Rockville Community Clinic, his wife said, and volunteered with Bread for the City and the Zacchaeus Free Clinic in Washington.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Patricia Connor Coogan of Rockville; three daughters, Aimee P. Coogan of Gaithersburg, Aileen S. Coogan of Olney and Courtenay C. Allen of Seattle; a stepdaughter, Catherine Keen of Washington; two brothers; and four grandchildren.

Emily Langer

Emily Langer is a reporter on The Washington Post’s obituaries desk. She has written about national and world leaders, celebrated figures in science and the arts, and heroes from all walks of life.
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