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Edgar T. Coene

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Edgar T. Coene Obituary
Edgar T. Coene

AGE: 83 • Shrewsbury

Edgar T. Coene, of Shrewsbury, died of congestive heart failure on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, at Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch, surrounded by his loving wife of 55 years, Patricia, and their three children, Susan Coene Perl, Ted Coene and Trisha Coene DeStefano, and spouses Eric Perl, Kimberley Corwen Coene and Robert DeStefano.

Mr. Coene was the founder and chairman of Group C Media, publisher of Business Facilities and Today's Facility Manager magazines. He was a U.S. Navy veteran who served during the Korean War.

Throughout his career as a national business publisher focused on economic development, Ed Coene was a leading advocate of the need to rebuild America's urban centers. He was the first publisher to join the National Council for Urban Economic Development (CUED), formed in 1967.

In 1991, CUED gave Ed its top service award, citing his dedication to the revitalization of our nation's cities. In 1999, he received the organization's Chairman's Award for Lifetime Achievement in Economic Development.

CUED's 1991 citation reads: "Through his influential position as founder of Business Facilities magazine, Edgar T. Coene has played a significant and very active role in bringing the field of urban economic development to the forefront of America's conscience."

Ed grew up in Hastings on the Hudson, NY. Ed attended Cornell University in Ithaca, NY on a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship and earned a degree in mechanical engineering. He was commissioned as an Ensign on June 6, 1952 and rose to the rank of Lieutenant j.g. while serving on the USS Cone, a destroyer that patrolled the coast of Korea during the war.

After he retired from the Navy, Ed took a job as an engineer and sales executive for a wholesale coal company, filling the same positions his father had previously held in the company. In 1963, he set out on his own in what would become a 50-year career as a publishing entrepreneur.

Ed launched 33, a trade publication which took its name from the SIC code for the metals, mining and metalworking industry. The success of the magazine quickly drew the attention of publishing giant McGraw-Hill, which bought 33 in 1966 and offered Ed a top publishing job in midtown Manhattan.

Ed chose to be his own boss, starting a publishing company specializing in industrial buyers guides and property listings. In 1968, he launched the American Industrial Properties Report and then transformed it into Business Facilities, a leading national monthly covering site selection and economic development.

Ed remained active in the business, renamed Group C Media in 2008 and based in Tinton Falls, NJ, as Chairman Emeritus until his death. Ted Coene and Susan Coene are now co-presidents of the company.

Ed had a lifelong passion for golf. He was a member of the Deal Golf and Country Club and the Orchid Island Golf and Beach Club. Ed had three holes-in-one, the last coming in 2008 at age 78 at Deal Golf Club. He also served on the board of the Red Bank YMCA.

In addition to his wife and children, Ed Coene is survived by six grandchildren, Chris Perl, Robert Coene, Thomas Coene, Carolyn Coene, Chloe DeStefano, and Hailey DeStefano. He also leaves a sister, Jackie Stasiak.

A Memorial Gathering will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26 at the Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad St., Red Bank. A celebration of Ed's life will be held at 12 noon Friday, Sept. 27 at the Deal Golf & Country Club, 1 Golf Lane, Deal. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made in his memory to FRAXA, 10 Prince Place, STE 203, Newburyport, MA 01950 or online at

Published in Asbury Park Press on Sept. 22, 2013
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