Leo F. "Fran" Coyle


RICHBURG – Leo F. "Fran" Coyle, of 2251 E. Notch Road, passed away Thursday (June 6, 2013) in Olean General Hospital following a brief illness.

He was born at home in Alma on May 19, 1925, and was a son of Phillip John and Lulu Octavia Coyle. He was married to Pearl Dorothea Powell ("Shorty" to family and friends) of Friendship on June 28, 1952. They settled in Richburg; Mrs. Coyle survives.

Fran was the youngest of six children. He grew up on the family's farm just west of the village of Bolivar and graduated from Bolivar High School in 1943. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in August 1943 and sent to England for training. He landed on Utah Beach in Normandy the day after D-Day with the 773rd Tank Destroyer Battalion. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre, the European-African-Middle East Campaign Medal (ETO) with two stars, the Army of Occupation Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and a Purple Heart.

Fran worked at the Daystrom's Furniture Co. in Friendship and Olean for several years and then for the post office, delivering mail in Bolivar for more than 20 years until his retirement in 1986. He also operated Fran's upholstery shop from his basement and garage from the time he left Daystrom's until recently, providing furniture re-upholstery and repair services throughout southern Allegany and Cattaraugus counties.

Fran was an ardent New York Yankees fan and enjoyed traveling. He drove through most of the continental states. After retirement, he and Shorty joined an informal group of Catholic travelers on tours of the Holy Land and Europe. During a trip to France in 1985, he revisited the Utah Beach area and was proud to be presented a certificate as an honorary citizen of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont.

Fran was active in Kenyon Andrus Post 772 of the American Legion, serving as post commander from 1996 to 1998 and adjutant for Allegany County in 1999. He was a member of the ambulance crew of the Richburg Volunteer Fire Co. for many years. Fran supported scouting through Richburg Troop 738, acting as advancement chair for the Seneca Council in 1980. He was an active parishioner of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Bolivar.

Surviving, in addition to his wife, are one son, Tom (Diane) Coyle of Toronto, Ontario; two grandchildren; one sister, Sr. John Francis Coyle of Tampa; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by an infant son, David; an infant granddaughter, Tavia; a brother, John; and three sisters, Theresa, Lucille and Agnus.

Friends called at the Schaffner Funeral Home Inc., Bolivar, on Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated today (June 10, 2013) at St. Mary’s Church in Bolivar at 10 a.m. Father Sean DiMaria, pastor, will serve as celebrant. Burial will be at St. Mary's Cemetery, Bolivar.