HomeObituariesEdward James Coyne Sr.

Edward James Coyne Sr.

SEPTEMBER 25, 1930 – MARCH 31, 2024

After 93 years of remarkable life, Edward J. Coyne, Sr. died peacefully as the sun rose on Easter morning, March 31, 2024, with his beloved wife of 37 years, “B,” at his side.

Ed possessed a unique capacity to extract the most out of life, one which took him from the cotton fields of Bemis, Tennessee to dining with US Presidents, queens, prime ministers, and chancellors. He was a successful international business executive, a published academic, an Air Force veteran, and a 1950 Sugar Bowl offensive lineman for LSU. He ate in some of the world’s finest restaurants, but he cherished peanut butter, his “weekend special” sandwiches, and chocolate milk even more. His good-natured verbal ribbing, or “mouth mashing” skills, found outlets on the golf course, around the pool table, behind a hand of poker, and even in the kitchen.

Above all, Ed loved his family. Ed’s love for his four sons (Edward James Jr., Kevin Patrick, Shawn Thomas, and Colin Mark) and his daughter (Kathleen Patrice, d. 1968) was matched by his love for his sons’ spouses (Darlene, Gergana, Denice, and Leslie), whom he called “my daughters”. His 11 grandchildren (Trip, Craig, Katie, Jenny, Tricia, Krista, Molly, Maria, Ariana, Dallas, and Zoe) and his 4 great-grandchildren (Cora Georgia, Emma T., Will, and Thomas) were a source of unequaled joy, as were his “bonus granddaughter” (Jessica), her husband (Ian), and his “bonus great grandchildren” (Kalyla and Aiyana). Each son, daughter, grandchild, or great-grandchild could always count on a phone call on their birthday to hear Ed’s special rendition (most often sung in tandem with B) of the “Happy Birthday” song. Ed also loved his Shelton family, including Mary and Ken Reynolds, their children (Kenny and Kevin), as well as their spouses (Amanda and Tanya), B’s niece (Karen), and B’s brother (Royce) and his wife (Brenda) and family.

Ed met few strangers, and welcomed all with uncommon warmth as he visited more than three dozen countries during his travels. While Ed lived in six states and three foreign countries (Australia, Jamaica, and Ireland), his heart never strayed far from his roots in western Tennessee, and he always remained proudly “the boy from Bemis”. In his adopted home of Jamaica, Ed found many of his most revered moments. His love for the Jamaican people, combined with his unique business acumen and his broad array of civic contributions, earned Ed the highest honor bestowed by the Jamaican government upon a non-national, Commander of the Order of Distinction (Hon).

Following his distinguished business career, Ed entered academia, earning his Ph.D. in Business from the University of Bradford in record time. He served on the faculties of Nova Southeastern University and Huntington College, as dean of the American College of Dublin, and on the faculty and administration of the Brock School of Business at Samford University. At the time of his death, Ed shared a home with B at The Plantation in Leesburg, Florida.

Ed is preceded in death by his father, Horace Sr.; his mother, Bess; his brother, Horace Jr.; and his first wife of 32 years and mother of his children, Katie.

The family received friends and loved ones on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, from 5-7 p.m. at the North Chapel of George A. Smith and Sons Funeral Home. The Funeral Mass was held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Jackson, Tenn., on Wednesday, April 10 at 2:15 p.m. A burial service followed at Mount Calvary Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made to the American Heart Association.

Funeral mass for Ed Coyne, Sr. from St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Jackson, can be viewed at this link https://m.youtube.com/live/gGtz3aItJ5U?feature=shared&fbclid=IwAR2SvXHxf_n4DRzl5GgKDOnbwDqMbP0syllEojYkoRapmC1FrWiyBhKhx64_aem_AUP9lMTOEX43uReMyKdvR8jGdGe2ST2p0FCqIDN_SJXNxppSxOcPN8b0WZtH3vDG-Q8

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