Richard "Dick" Coyle passed from this life into the next on Monday morning, June 1, 2020, in Conroe, Texas. His life has been one of devoted service to his family and his community - he thought that it was everyone's duty to work hard, to "take part," and to get things done.
Dick was born in Schenectady, New York, on April 11, 1942, to Aubrey Stuart Coyle and Ruth E. (Thibodeau) Coyle. His family moved from New York to Houston and later to a farm not far from Magnolia in Montgomery County that kept the eight children busy raising vegetables, chickens, and cattle. He liked to tell about hunting with his brothers and friends on land that has since become The Woodlands. Dick attended Conroe High School where he played football with the Tigers and graduated in 1961. As senior class president, he convinced his principal to host their first Red Cross Blood Drive with the help of the Conroe Volunteer Fire Department. Upon graduation, Dick attended Texas A&M and participated in the Corp of Cadets before transferring to the University of Houston.
From his teen years forward, Dick worked at more than one job. As a young adult, his entrepreneurial spirit led him to buy tractors and create a mowing business contracted to the highway department. He then bought a service station at the corner of Hwy 105 and First Street in Conroe that was operating successfully until he learned that his draft number had him destined for a call to the military. He had already earned his fixed wing license and knew that if he had to go, he wanted to fly; his first available opportunity was to enlist in the U.S. Army to attend flight school and become a helicopter pilot. He was deployed to Viet Nam from 1967-68 and then served as an instrument instructor at Ft. Rucker, AL, before his discharge as a Chief Warrant Officer (CW2) in 1970.
Soon after, Dick entered the field of insurance with the Prudential Insurance Company, but then met Oren Soules with whom he shared a common interest in flying. Oren persuaded him to join Soules Insurance Agency as a producer. Quickly becoming a part of the management team, Dick purchased an interest in the agency in 1972, and became its owner in 1983 when the Soules retired. Dick was an advocate for continuing education for himself and his staff. He earned his Chartered Life Underwriter designation in 1975 and became an Accredited Advisor in Insurance in 1985. He was passionate about his work in the sense that he wanted his customers to have the coverages best suited to their needs.
Dick's involvement in the community included serving as Fund Drive Chair and President of the Montgomery County United Way, as an 11 year board member of MUD 46, on the board of the Joint Powers Agency of The Woodlands, and the HGAC. For several years he acted as a trustee for both the University of the Americas and for its foundation. He was a past president of the Conroe Rotary Club, a Paul Harris Fellow, and a member for over thirty years. He was inducted into the Conroe Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce's Wall of Honor in 2018.
While his interests in business and community service never waned, his Christian faith remained at the center of his life from his earliest memory. He grew up in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and was mentored by beloved members of the local church including Charles Word, whom he never failed to credit with his love for studying the Bible and teaching an adult Sunday school class for many years. At the church, he served in a myriad of positions including Chairman of the Board and Fund Drive Chair.
In his 60s, Dick felt called to the Catholic Church and began attending Mass at Sacred Heart Church with his wife Mary Margaret. Inspired by his first granddaughter's Baptism celebration, and after study and reflection, he was received into the Church in 2007. He became an active participant, mentoring others through RCIA, and serving as a part of the ACTS retreat team and on the maintenance committee. As his health waned, he continued Bible study at weekly sessions, developing enduring friendships with his new church family.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents and his brother James (Jimmy) Coyle. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Mary Margaret, and their children, COL Richard Ryan Coyle and his wife, Jodi, now of Driftwood, TX, and his daughter Connolly Grace Lees and her husband, Jon-Michael Lees, of Austin, TX. Five grandchildren were his joy: Margaret Lynne Coyle, Robert Hunter Coyle, Molly Marie Coyle, Henry Michael Lees, and Breda Elisabeth Lees. He is also survived by his brothers, Aubrey Stuart Coyle (Jan) of Boise, ID; Timothy D. Coyle (Jodie) of Georgetown, TX; and sisters Carole Boyd (Maston) of Pelzer, SC; Marcia L. Coyle of Sun City Center, FL; Mari Lynne Ryan (Tim) of Vienna, VA; and Cathy Nichols of Anderson, SC. His sister-in-law, Carol Deese Coyle of Bethlehem, GA; and his brother-in-law Lawrence F. (Larry) Petre and his wife Priscille of Fleming Island, FL, and many nieces and nephews survive him as well.
Dick found little time for hobbies, but thoroughly enjoyed hunting with his son, his brother Tim, and life-long friends at his deer lease in Star, TX for over 45 years. If there had been more time, he also loved gardening and drying flowers. A special trip in recent years included a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon. Dick delighted in several trips to Ireland and England over the years reuniting Mary Margaret with her birth family. In celebration of their 50th anniversary last year, they enjoyed a trip to Ireland with their children and grandchildren visiting Mary Margaret's siblings and extended family that had become like his own.
We will celebrate Dick's life with a visitation Thursday, June 4, from 5-7 pm at Cashner Funeral Home, 801 Teas Road, Conroe, TX. A rosary will follow at 7:00 pm. A Mass of Resurrection will be held on Friday morning, June 5, at 10:00 am at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 109, N. Frazier, in Conroe with Father Philip Wilhite presiding. Serving as pallbearers will be Robert Hunter Coyle, Jon M. Lees, Shawn D. Petre, Timothy D. Coyle, Dan Madeley, Jordan Price, Dr. Chad Hivnor, Juan Carlos Lopez, and Carlos Rios. Honorary pallbearers will Dr. Robert H. Rabuck, John Husbands, Rigby Owen, Jr. William (Bill) Schneider, Dr. Ronald Boulware, Dr. Richard Calvin and members past and present of the Star Hunting Club. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Capital Campaign of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 704 Old Montgomery Road, Conroe, TX ( www.shconroe.org ) or the Dick and Mary Margaret Coyle Special Education Fund at www.cisdeducationfoundation.org .
We are choosing to honor Dick's life with traditional services, but his Mass will be streamed from the parish website since many family and friends will be unable to attend due to the current pandemic.
"God is not unjust: He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped his people and continue to help them." Hebrews, Chapter 6
Awaiting him is a place even more beautiful than the countryside in Central Texas that he loved so much.
To leave condolences for the family, please go to cashnerconroe.com