John “Jack” Francis Couture , Commander USN , Ret. met every day with a smile on his face, energetic and positive attitude, and possibility thinking. He never met a stranger, always asked and never forgot a name. Jack’s love of country, love of community, love of family and love of friends were foundational in his life. He was a Patriot, dedicated and accomplished leader, family man, and friend.
Born in Boston, Jack was raised in Randolph, Massachusetts and a graduate of Thayer Academy, Tufts University (BS Economics), National University (MBA). Upon graduation from Tufts University and ROTC in 1957, he entered the Navy as Ensign and received orders to Underwater Demolition Team Training in Coronado completing BUD/S Class 19 and assigned to UDT-12 in Coronado. Jack was deployed to Vietnam during conflict commanding UDT-12 in 1969, as he stated, “his proudest achievement.” He served 63 months with UDT 12 and truly followed career advice “to keep one toe in the water.” Commander Couture served five years U.S. European Joint Task Force in Germany, 1970-1975, director of BUD/SEAL Team Training in Coronado 1977-1978, and Naval Amphibious School Coronado 1979-1982.
In retirement, after 26 years of service to his Country, Jack could be found for the next 40 years negotiating and managing multiple real estate properties in California and Washington, playing team tennis, was an avid golfer, traveler and generally enjoying life as he always did every day with family and friends.
Jack Couture’s family lineage is historic and foundational to North America. Jack was a direct descendant of Guillaume Couture of Rouen, France who was a scout for the Jesuits in New France, Canada Quebec and environs in the 1600s. Guillaume was among the first French and the Patriarch of the Couture name in Canada/North America. Guillaume was a courageous man who in his lifetime was captured, tortured, escaped and lived to tell about it for some 80 years. His brave actions and leadership helped to establish the French in the new world building communities and settling around Quebec. Many generations later great grandson Jack was born with the same courageous and brave spirit that led him to serve his country, contribute to his community in many ways (Optimist of the Year 1989), coach Little League, volunteer in first cohort of Out and About (2017) in Coronado and stand as a voice in community issues before numerous Council meetings.
Awarded the Bronze Star in 1970 serving as Commanding Officer of UDT 12 in Vietnam. Lieutenant Cmdr. Couture “planned and directed the deepening of a waterway (Code name Deep Channel) excavated by third of a million pounds of high explosives (60% of the Free World’s Supply)” that at the time was “the largest combat demolition operation in Navy history..10 kilometers long north of Saigon.” Jack recounts that as his “most memorable mission.” Many additional campaign and service medals include AFE Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Medal of Honor First Class, Vietnam Campaign Medal and multiple Commendation Medals and Honors throughout his 26 year service career. Commander Couture was a true patriot who daily demonstrated love of America. A colleague mentioned when remembering Jack, “they don’t make them like that anymore.”
Jack Couture left a large footprint in Coronado with his Naval Career, family life, and community presence. With a visible love of Coronado, always willing to volunteer and help, he shared his warm, kind spirit and sense of camaraderie with everyone. Jack had a “Can-Do” attitude and pursued every project, interest, and responsibility with passion and integrity. Jack raised two sons, Brad and Jeff (CHS graduates) with wife Donna Howland Couture who passed away in 1988. He then married Carol Burke Couture, long time resident and CHS principal who passed away in 1998. He is survived by his wife of 22 years, Paula Bingham-Couture; his son Brad (Kathy)and his son Jeff (Lori); five Couture grandchildren; and one Couture great grandchild. His blended family with Paula include Justin and Patrick Bingham families and six Bingham grandchildren. Whether birth family, blended family, teammate or friend, Jack was a beloved and respected husband, father, grandfather, Naval Officer, and community member who will always be in our hearts
A kind and generous man with a smile that lit up the room, Jack will be remembered for his positive influence in the lives he touched. He lived, breathed and embraced the Optimist Creed, the Star Spangled Banner, faith and family. Jack left us unexpectedly but peacefully while in Seabeck, Washington, his cherished second home where the Dungeness crab “called” him every Summer from July-September.
Internment will be at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery with family in attendance.
In memory contributions may be directed to Coronado Hospital Foundation, Optimist Club of Coronado, Sacred Heart Catholic Church and the Navy Seal Foundation. HooYa and God Bless America!
A memorial mass will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30, with reception to follow at Coronado Yacht Club.