The Free Press, Mankato, MN

December 23, 2012

Eldon Coyle

—   Eldon Coyle, much beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather went to his heavenly home on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at the age of 93.  Funeral Services will be held Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 10:30 AM at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Wells, MN. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, December 26, 2012 from 4:00-8:00 PM at Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home in Wells, and will continue one hour prior to the service at the church. Pastor Kathy Fullarton will officiate and interment will be in Rosehill Cemetery, Wells, MN. Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home in Wells, MN is in charge of arrangements. Please see to leave online condolences.

  Eldon was born September 8, 1919 in Fillmore County, MN, the son of John and Clara (Kyseth) Coyle. Stricken with polio as a young boy, surgeons performed an experimental surgery to keep him walking reasonably well for the rest of his life. Despite a significantly weakened left leg and back, he never let his limitations prevent him from achieving his goals in life.

  Eldon will be remembered for his legacy as an educator, whose teaching many former students claimed was second to none. He had a tremendous caring, encouraging, respectful and patient attitude towards his students, always finding time to offer further assistance and counsel at any time. He spent many hours off the clock preparing his classes. Mr. Coyle began his teaching career in Mabel, MN, followed by a year in Preston, MN, before receiving his position as Chemistry and Physics instructor in Wells, MN. He received his B.S. degree in Science Education with a minor in music from Winona State College. During his undergraduate studies he also participated in several vocal groups through the college. He earned a Masters from the University of Minnesota and continued to attend many summer institutes to keep up to date in his field. To celebrate his exceptional teaching career, he was honored as a finalist for Minnesota Teacher of the Year in 1967.

  Eldon married Phyllis Beckmann, the Wells public school secretary at the time, on October 19, 1946 at First Lutheran Church in Wells. Two children were born to this union, Dolores and Duane. Eldon was a very loving father, never wanting to leave his family behind while pursuing his continuing education in different regions of the country. Eldon and Phyllis never missed any of their granddaughters' athletic or musical events, often traveling long distances and enduring inclement weather conditions. They also attended several of their step-grandsons' football games in brutal weather conditions.

  Eldon was active in many civic and church-related organizations. He served as Civil Defense Director for many years during the Cold War. He was an active member of the Lions Club, including serving as president. Eldon was a long-time member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (formerly First Lutheran Church). He was a member of the church choir, taught Sunday School and served the congregation as council member and president. He spent many of his retired years delivering Meals on Wheels and driving for senior transportation.

  Survivors include daughter, Dolores, and husband Roger Stelter of Waseca, MN; son, Duane, and wife Michelle Coyle of Byron, MN. Grandchildren include Laura Lee (husband Stephen) of Seymour, IN; Anna Stelter of Surprise, AZ; Sarah Wilder (husband Jesse) of Rochester, MN; and Brenda Stelter (fiance David Froemming) of Whitewater, WI. Great-grandchildren include Hannah Wilder, Noah Lee, Owen Wilder, Reese Ann Lee and Analynn Lee. Step-grandchildren are Melissa Lucido (husband Dave), Paul Scrabeck (wife Linda), John Scrabeck (wife Lisa) and three step-great-grandchildren, Isabel, Oakley and Jacob. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews, and a sister-in-law, Darlene (Beckmann) Shook (husband Ralph) of Visalia, CA.

  Eldon was preceded in death by his wife Phyllis in 2006; sister, Maxine in 1985, brother Norman in 1996 and by his parents.

  Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers. A scholarship at United South Central High School will be arranged in Eldon's name for seniors planning a career in education or a science-related field. Eldon will be greatly missed.