Gretchen Elizabeth Coogan

April 11, 1926March 9, 2021

Gretchen Coogan, 94, passed away Tuesday, March 9, in Indianapolis. Gretchen was born in Peoria, IL, on April 11, 1926 to Hugo and Caroline Mueller Hoerdemann. She graduated from Bradley University, where she majored in music and education. She was renowned for her beautiful singing voice, and was active in music and theater productions throughout her college years. It was at Bradley that she met her future husband, Dan Coogan. Gretchen married Dan on June 19, 1948 at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Peoria. In the years to come, they welcomed seven children. After moving to Indianapolis, they were members of St. Joan of Arc parish for many years.

While raising a large family, Gretchen was also an elementary school teacher for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, primarily at St. Joan of Arc and St. Pius. Her imagination and creativity, as well as her patience and good humor, ensured that many generations of children grew in knowledge and faith. Gretchen joyfully shared her singing talents and her love for music as a member of the St Joan of Arc and St Pius church choirs, as well as at countless family gatherings.

Gretchen was an extraordinary mother and grandmother whose gentle spirit and selfless love inspired us all. Her memory will always be treasured by her loving family. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Dan, son, Mark (Debbie Centers), and her brothers Harold (Myra), and Leo (Barbara); and sisters Emily, Carolyn Coonan (Don), Anne White (Jerry), Rose Cremer Molloy (Chuck Cremer and John Molloy). Survivors include her brothers Hugo (Doris) and Joe (LaVonda), and numerous nieces and nephews. She is also survived by sons John (Bonnie), Jim (Susie) Paul, and Phil (Betsy); daughters, Carol (Bill) Stephan and Maggie (Chris) Moshy; daughter-in-law Debbie Centers; grandsons Chris Schoenwald, Tyler (Diana) Coogan, Paul Stephan, Shane Coogan, Eric Coogan, CJ and Nick Moshy; granddaughters Buffie (Jim) Eldridge, Shannon (Matt) Hautman, Laura (Scott) Ryan, and Erin Coogan; eight great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandchild.

Visitation and a Mass celebrating Gretchen’s life will be held at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 4217 N. Central Ave., Indianapolis on Monday, March 15. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., and Mass will begin at 10 a.m.. Burial will follow at Oaklawn Memorial Gardens, Indianapolis.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church.


  • Visitation

    Monday, March 15, 2021

  • Mass of Christian Burial

    Monday, March 15, 2021

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