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Joan Coyne

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Joan Kiernan Coyne

A second generation San Franciscan, Joan Kiernan Coyne was born January 24, 1918 to Margaret and Thomas Kiernan. She had fond childhood memories of the Haight Ashbury neighborhood where she lived on Page and Masonic in the upper flat of the family home above her beloved aunt and uncle, Richard and Josie O'Brien. She attended St. Agnes Grammar School and then the Convent of the Sacred Heart. Her father died when she was sixteen, and her mother became her inspiration and model for a strong and independent woman as she watched her raise her sister and two brothers alone during the Great Depression. After graduating from Dominican College with a degree in sociology, she worked with her brothers in the family real estate business. She volunteered in the Presidio as a nurse's aide during the war years. Shortly after the war ended, she reluctantly attended a party for a returning naval officer, and it was there that she met the love of her life, Michael Coyne. They were married a year later, and within ten years, they had eight children.


After raising her children, Joan dedicated herself to the troubled youth of San Francisco as a member of the Youth Guidance Center Volunteer Auxiliary. She served as president of the Auxiliary from 1978 - 1981 and again from 1991-1995. A devout Catholic, she was a great supporter of St. Brigid parish. She had a great life-long love of literature and poetry and was an ambassador for the San Francisco Public Library. In her final years she enjoyed the spirituality provided by the nuns at Nazareth House where she made many new friends.


She is preceded in death by her husband of forty-six years Michael Coyne and her brothers Jack Kiernan and Thomas Kiernan. Survived by her sister Geraldine O'Neill, and her children Deirdre Coyne, Kevin Coyne (Susie), Thomas Coyne, Michaela Coyne, Mary Costello (Larry), Michael Coyne (Kate), Margaret Coyne (Tom), and Martin Coyne. Loving Grandmother of Patrick and Laura Gillis, Annie, Mary, Nora, Kevin, and Peggy Coyne, Brigid and James Coyne, Rose, Colleen, Thomas, and Michaela Costello, Tim, Conor, and Rory Coyne, Alanna and Tessa Paoli, and Michael, Deirdre, and Cecilia Coyne. Devoted aunt to many loving nieces and nephews.


A vigil will be held on Tuesday, April 23 at 7 pm at St. Dominic's Church (Steiner Street at Bush Street). A funeral mass will be celebrated on Wednesday at 9:30 am.


Memorial donations may be made to The Volunteer Auxiliary of the Youth Guidance Center, 375 Woodside Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94127, Nazareth House, 245 Nova Albion Way, San Raphael, CA 94903, or AdvoKids, 5643 Paradise Drive, Suite 12B, Corte Madera, CA 94925.



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Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Apr. 22 to Apr. 23, 2013
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