Obituary: John Roughan
John Michael Roughan, a longtime resident of Riverside, died peacefully in his sleep on Aug. 5, 2019. He was 95.
John was born in Lowell, Mass., the only child of John Joseph and Agnes Roughan. He was educated at Keith Academy, Lowell Technological Institute, and earned his MBA at the Wharton School of Business. In between, he served his country valiantly on the battlefield as an Infantryman in the US Army during World War II, and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. He remained lifelong friends with many of his fellow soldiers, speaking often of the everlasting bond they shared. The only ones he talked about more were those who weren’t lucky enough to come home.
John enjoyed a distinguished career as a marketing executive in the chemical industry. After years with American Viscose and Chemstrand he joined Monsanto as vice president where he spearheaded efforts within the synthetic fibers division to introduce to the world what would ultimately be known as AstroTurf. John went on to become president of Mexico Trading Company before forming his own consulting firm, WorldLink. For over four decades, he was also a guiding hand at Estate Treasures of Greenwich, a family owned consignment business. Earlier this year, John was awarded the James B. Francis medal, a lifetime achievement award, by UMass Lowell (formerly Lowell Tech).
An avid storyteller with a gifted sense of humor, John was adored by all who knew him. His cheerful disposition and undeterred optimism impacted so many people over the course of his lifetime.
Survived by his loving and devoted wife, Harriet, John also leaves a daughter and son-in-law, Shari and Marc Lurie, and a son and daughter-in-law, Howard and Christine Roughan. Additionally, there are three wonderful grandchildren who will miss their papa dearly: Jake and Shayna Lurie, and Trevor John Roughan. John’s two brothers in spirit, and best pals from Lowell, Jim and Dick Reynolds, are surely happy to be seeing him again.
A celebration of John’s life will be held at Temple Sholom in Greenwich on Sunday, Aug. 11 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in John’s name to UMass Lowell, c/o the Charles J. Hoff Alumni Scholarship Center, 1 Perkins Street, Lowell, MA 01854, or by phone to Sally Washburn, Senior Director of Development, (617) 320-4444.