Former State Sen. Coolahan dies

Former Baltimore County District Court judge and state senator John C. Coolahan has died at the age of 80.

While Coolahan served as an associate judge in Baltimore County District Court in his later years, he spent most of his career in both in the House of Delegates and the state Senate throughout most of the 1970s and 1980s.

Coolahan was born in Baltimore Oct. 29, 1932. He attended Mount Saint Joseph High School and served in the United States Marine Corps from 1951 to 1954, earning a Purple Heart.

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Western Maryland College in 1958 and earned a law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1967.

Coolahan was elected to the House of Delegates in 1967 and held the post until 1970. In 1971, he was elected to the state Senate, where he remained, except for a period between 1978 and 1983, until 1989. Coolahan then took up a post as associate judge in Baltimore County District Court, sitting on the bench until 1994.

Coolahan, who died Sunday, is survived by his wife, Joanna Coolahan; sons Mike Coolahan, Bill Coolahan, Jim Coolahan and Danny Coolahan; daughter Kathleen Coolahan; brother Donald Coolahan; 12 grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

The family will accept visitors Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. and Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Church of the Ascension at 4603 Poplar Avenue in Halethorpe. A funeral mass will be held at noon Friday at the Church of the Ascension.

In lieu of flowers, the family requested donations be made to Southwest Emergency Services at 1201 Maple Avenue in Halethorpe.


  1. Trudy & Ray Monczewski

    We are so sorry to hear about your loss and know Mr.Ham will be greatly greatly missed by so many.

  2. I will miss the Lion of Halethorpe. I remember in the early 70’s when you could not get gasoline…John Coolahan
    gave everyone 5 gallons.

  3. One great-grandDAUGHTER

  4. I have made the correction, Mr. Coolahan. Thank you and sorry for your loss.

  5. Sincere condolences to John’s family and the community for whom he worked tirelessly – and closely with me for over 20 years when director of the State Dept. of Juvenile Services, toghether strove to provide better lives for thousands of kids

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