Tom Coughlin, a two-time Super Bowl-winning coach, recently announced the tragic death of his beloved wife Judy.
“My cherished wife and our beloved mother and grandmother, Judy Whitaker Coughlin, passed away this morning at the age of 77,” the NFL legend wrote in a statement issued by PEOPLE Magazine. “Judy was a remarkable woman in every way. She lived a life filled with love and unselfishly gave her heart and soul to others.”
Judy, unfortunately, lost her battle after two years of battling progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare brain disease. The illness leads to both physical and cognitive impairment, and eventually death.
The early stages of PSP begin with a gradual loss of mobility. According to Coughlin, Judy lost her strong-willed personality throughout her battle with the illness.
“We’ve helplessly watched her go from a gracious woman with a gift for conversation, hugging all the people she met and making them feel they were the most important person in the room, to losing almost all ability to speak and move,” the NFL legend wrote in an essay initially published in 2021 by The New York Times.
“Judy’s decline has been nothing but gut-wrenching and has placed me in a club with the tens of millions of other Americans who serve as a primary caregiver for a loved one.”
Coughlin, who is the former coach of the New York Giants, spoke nothing but kind words in regard to his wife following her passing.
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Tom Coughlin says Judy ‘was a mother to all’ during his time in the NFL
Their journey began in high school, the two both attending Waterloo High School in the Finger Lakes region of New York. By 1967, the couple was married, prior to Coughlin’s junior year at Syracuse and after Judy had graduated from Brockport State University.
Reflecting on the mind memories they shared together, he relayed that his wife was nothing except a positive force in his life.
“Judy made you feel like an old friend from the first hug to the last. She was a mother to all on and off the field. For everyone who knew and loved Judy, the enormity of her absence cannot be put into words, but the immense kindness she showed to others will always endure,” he said in a statement.
Coughlin proceeded to add the sentiments, “Our hearts are broken, but we know she is free from suffering and at peace with our Lord.”
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