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Former Waltham Educator, Watertown Coach Dies

Michael McGovern, 60, died on July 16.

Former Waltham assistant principal and Watertown coach Michael F. McGovern died this week, according to his obituary posted on the Joyce Funeral Home website. 

McGovern died at his home in Manomet on July 16. He was 60. McGovern retired from the Waltham Public School system two years ago after a long career. He previously served as the assistant principal of the John W. McDevitt Middle School. He also taught at the McDevitt School, as well as the former South middle school and Henry J. Whittemore Elementary School. 

McGovern also coached several athletic teams including hockey and football at Waltham High School and Watertown High School, according to his obituary. He also served as the head hockey coach at Newton South High School. 

Calling hours for McGovern will be held on Monday, July 23 at the Joyce Funeral Home in Waltham from 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. Additional calling hours will be held at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, July 24. The funeral mass wil be held at 9 a.m. that same day at Charles Borromeo Church. He will be buried at Calvary Cemetery.

Friends and acquaintances, in online postings, recalled McGovern as a great man.

"Sorry to hear of Mike's passing. He was a great teacher and friend to me and so many others. Mike was my 6th grade teacher back in 1978. We had so much fun back then, just a great guy. I'm so glad I had a chance to talk with him many times over the years, lots of laughs and lots of tears. We will miss you Mugga," wrote Jim Stanley of Waltham.

See below for his full obituary.

Waltham – Mr. Michael F. 'Mugga' McGovern, of Waltham, died Monday, July 16, 2012 at his home in Manomet. He was 60.

Mike was born in Waltham on November 18, 1951, a son of Paul J. McGovern of Waltham and the late Theresa M. (Cormier) McGovern.

He was a lifelong Waltham resident and a 1969 graduate of Waltham High School. Four years later he earned a teaching degree at Westfield State College and taught in the Waltham school system until his retirement two years ago. He first taught at the Whittemore Elementary School and later at South Middle School and the John W. McDevitt Middle School. He was the longtime assistant principal at the McDevitt School before retiring.

One of the most powerful and eloquent testimonies to Michael's impact on the students that he taught came from a former student who wrote upon the news of his passing . . . "I want to write something so meaningful and profound right now because that's what he deserves. I can't. This just makes me so sad. I know I'm one of hundreds, probably thousands of students he touched. But, it feels like it was yesterday when I was that shy girl in his classroom or the nervous high school senior writing about his impact on my life in my college entrance essay. I don't think he ever really realized just how much he changed my life. For that I'm forever grateful. You will be missed." . . . the students, athletes, teachers and administrators in the Waltham school system were richer for having known him and share the burden of his family's loss.

Michael was a longtime football and hockey coach at Waltham High School, Watertown High School and at Newton South High School where he was the head hockey coach.

Besides his father he leaves his wife, Noella M. (LeBlanc) McGovern; his step-children Kris Parello and Dana Parello, Sr.; his step-grandson Dana Parello, Jr.; his brother Paul J. McGovern, Jr., and his wife, Nancy Lenza, of Waltham; his nephew, Bryan McGovern; his niece, Tara Fersko; his grand-nephews, Kevin and Micky McGovernand Joshua Fersko, and his grand-niece Abigail Fersko.

Family and friends will honor and remember Mike's life by gathering for calling hours in The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street (Rte. 20), Waltham on Monday, July 23rd, from 4 to 8 p.m. and again at 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning before leaving in procession to Saint Charles Borromeo Church, 51 Hall Street, Waltham where his Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Waltham.

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