Reverend Edwin J. Coyne, 84, died July 12, at Milford Health Care. He was the son of Warren and Mary O'Neill Coyne, and was born in Yonkers, N.Y., March 10, 1929.
He graduated from Holy Rosary Grammar School and Commerce High School, before entering into the US Army where he served in Panama. He entered the seminary in 1954 and finished his studies at Mount St Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 26, 1962, in St Augustine’s Cathedral.
He had many assignments over the years, beginning with St Rose of Lima Parish in Newtown, where he was a parish priest, a chaplain at the then-Fairfield Hills Hospital, and a teacher on the first faculty of Immaculate High School in Danbury.
He was assigned to St Mary’s Parish in Bridgeport; after completing four years there, he volunteered to participate in the Diocesan Missions in Santa Cruz and Chiclayo, Peru. Returning to the diocese in late 1970, he assumed the responsibility of the Spanish community of Stamford. In 1974, he was transferred to St Peter's Parish in Danbury, where he helped found the Spanish Catholic Community in the Danbury area. In 1975, he became the chaplain at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury and remained there while in residence at St Edward the Confessor Parish in New Fairfield.
He returned to parish work following this at St Maurice’s Parish in Stamford, and in 1982, he became the pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Bridgeport. He was there until April of 1986 when he was assigned to St Lawrence Parish in Shelton. In 1989, he accepted the spiritual director chaplaincy at St Joseph High School in Trumbull where he remained until 1996. After his retirement he continued helping out in various parishes.
In 1984 he became a certified substance abuse counselor in the State of Connecticut and at that time, he was the only Roman Catholic Priest certified in both drugs and alcohol in the state and was known as an emeritus in the field of substance abuse.
Father Coyne is survived by his sister, Maureen Richetelli of Milford; his loving nieces and nephews; and many cousins and devoted friends. He was predeceased by his twin brother, Warren; sister Patricia Hiebert; and one nephew.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place Saturday, July 20, at noon, at Saint Mary Church, 70 Gulf Street, Milford, with full military honors to follow. Committal will be private. Friends and family may call Friday, July 19, from 4 to 8 pm, at Cody-White Funeral Home, 107 Broad Street, Milford. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Alcoholics Anonymous Well Services, Inc, PO Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163, or to Beth-El Center, 90 New Haven Avenue, Milford CT 06460.
Condolences may be offered at www.codywhitefuneralservice.com.