Rogene J. Coughlin Bessette

rbessetteRogene J. Coughlin Bessette, 85, of 307 Town Line Road, Canton went peacefully to live with the Lord on Saturday, December 10, 2016 while a resident at St. Joseph’s Nursing Home in Ogdensburg, NY. Calling hours will be Thursday, December 15, 2016 from 1-3 pm and 6-8 pm at the O’Leary Funeral Home, Route 11, Canton. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, December 16, 2016 at 11 am at St. Paul’s Oratory, Pyrites, NY. Burial will follow in the St. Mary’s Cemetery, Riverside Dr.; Canton.

Rogene was born on December 3, 1931 in Gouverneur, the daughter of George and Irene (Caswell) Coughlin, she graduated from Knox-Memorial Central School in Russell, in 1949; and Canton ATI (now SUNY Canton) in 1950. Rogene married Nelson J. Bessette on December 6, 1952 in St. Mary’s Recotry in Canton. She worked as a court stenographer in Canton courts until deciding to stay home and raise her family. Rogene later went back to work for St. Lawrence County, first at Cooperative Extension then at St. Lawrence County Tax Mapping and the St. Lawrence County Highway Department before retiring.

Rogene and Nelson owned and operated a dairy farm on the Town Line Road from 1952 until 1986. Rogene lived on the farm with Nelson until moving to the nursing home in November 2014, suffering with Alzheimer’s. Rogene was a member of the Grange and Ladies Aide Society; a communicant of St. Mary’s Church, Canton; She was a drummer in a local band during the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. She enjoyed working with ceramics, bowling, snowmobiling, playing the piano, playing her drums at family gatherings, clogging, dancing, writing poetry, sewing and taking home movies. She loved doing things for her family and friends.

Rogene is survived by her husband of 64 years, Nelson; three sons: Thomas N. (Jeanette) of Hermon; Timothy G.; Milton J. (Connie) of South Russell; four daughters: Susanne M. (Stanton Jr.) Smith of Canton; Nancy R. Bessette-Robert of Canton; Rosemary K. (John) Langey of Cazenovia; and Jorja C. (Michael) Christy of Morley. By brothers and sisters-in-law: Warren Sr. (Betty) Bessette of Canton; Norene (Neil) Sheridan of Canton; Elevene (Jake) Corbine of Russell; Susan Bessette of Canton and Louise Coughlin of Rensselaer Falls; 19 grandchildren: Bryan and Mark Smith; Reardon Bessette, Brandi Stead, Brooke Roberts, Bobbie Kitts, and Bethany Allen; Melissa Rivers; Brent, Craig and Devin Robert; Jeremiah Bessette and Shandelle Clifford; Benjamin and Madison Langey; Nathan, Katherine, Thomas and Daniel Christy. Rogene has 34 great-grandchildren, and nieces Melody (Haven) Broderick, and Luene (Haven) Mulhall and their families of New Hampshire, as well as many nieces and nephews in her ‘Bessette’ family. She loved and enjoyed every one of them.

Rogene was predeceased by her parent, her brother, George Coughlin and his first wife Harriet (Gilmour); her sister Naomi (Coughlin) Haven and Naomi’s husband Herbert; one son, Roger D.; one nephew, Jere Haven; brothers and sisters-in-law: Reardon Bessette, Gerald Bessette Sr.; Burton Bessette, Sr.; and Anne (Bessette) Scott.

Donations in her memory may be made to Operation Smile, Inc. or to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Memories and condolences may be shared online at

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