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Sister John Francis Coyle, OSF 1922-2022


Sister John Francis Coyle, a longtime nurse, died Nov. 7, 2022, in St. Joseph Hospital, Tampa, Florida, just short of her 100th birthday.

Sister John Francis Coyle, OSF

Born Phyllis Ann Coyle on Dec. 10, 1922, in Alma, she is the daughter of Philip J. and Lulu (Cook) Coyle of Bolivar. She attended elementary and high school in the Bolivar School System. Following her high school graduation, she studied at Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Buffalo, receiving her RN in Nursing in 1944. Sister pursued studies at Barry College in Miami and Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where she received her bachelor’s degree in Nursing. She continued her education at Catholic University of America and received her master’s in Administration in Nursing Education in 1958.

Taking the name Sister John Francis, she entered the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany on Feb. 2, 1945; was received into the congregation on Aug. 15, 1945; and professed her final vows on Aug. 16, 1952. She joyfully lived the mission and charism of the Franciscan Sisters for over 77 years.

Her initial ministry was at St. Francis Hospital in Miami Beach, as head nurse for 13 years. In 1959, she became the director of nursing at St. Elizabeth Hospital School of Nursing in Brighton, Massachusetts. Five years later, she was transferred to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital School of Nursing in Camden, New Jersey, where she made her impact for 38 years, first as director followed by the position as dean. She was known as a firm but outstanding nursing director. Graduates from “Lourdes” had the reputation as excellent RN’s due to her commitment to her ministry.

In 2002, Sister retired to St. Elizabeth Convent, Tampa, Florida, following a brief period of time caring for her ill sister, Theresa. She was an avid reader and enjoyed solving crossword puzzles, so she took advantage of the free time that was now hers. One of her main delights was baking apple pies for the enjoyment of others.

Sister John Francis is predeceased by her parents; her brothers John and Francis; and her sisters Lucille, Theresa and Agnes. 

Burial took place in St. Bonaventure Cemetery.

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