NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

August 26, 2013

Roger G. Coggeshall


West Newbury, MA — Roger G. Coggeshall, 85, longtime West Newbury resident, passed away on Thursday, August 22, 2013, at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He was the beloved husband of Barbara A. (Grinnell) Coggeshall of West Newbury.

Born in Weymouth on October 7, 1927, he was the son of the late Frank V. and Evelyn (Gibbs) Coggeshall.

After graduating high school, Roger entered the military, serving with the U.S. Army from October 2, 1946, until his honorable discharge on February 25, 1948. He subsequently graduated from the Stockbridge School at the University of Massachusetts.

Roger was a lifelong, passionate nurseryman, devoted to the propagation and cultivation of many varieties of woody plants, trees and shrubs, for use in New England landscapes. He began his horticultural career as a propagator and educator at the Arnold Arboretum. In 1958, he joined Cherry Hill Nurseries in West Newbury, where he became president five years later. For the past 20 years, he worked with his partner, Evie King of Syringa Plus Nursery, to make available lilacs to growers for the public.

He was a leader in the nursery industry, serving as president of the New England Nursery Association, and a member of the Massachusetts Nursery Association, Horticultural Club of Boston, and the International Lilac Society. In recognition of his professional acheivements, he received the Jackson-Dawson Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the Award of Merit from the International Lilac Society, and was made Fellow of the International Plant Propagators Society.

In addition to his wife of 65 years, he is survived by his daughter, Melissa Brooks of Effingham, N.H.; son, Mark Coggeshall of Columbia, Mo.; three grandchildren, Karen (Brooks) Chao, Amanda E. Coggeshall and Matthew V. Coggeshall; and four great-grandchildren.

ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial service for family and friends will be held Thursday, August 29, at 11 a.m., at the Elliott, Woodworth & Rogers Family Funeral Home, 35 Green Street, Newburyport. Private interment will be held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, we honor his lifelong passion to life, family and plants and recognize his commitment to always "seek and share."