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Obituary: Joan de Got Washburn Coyle

Joan de Got Washburn Coyle, center, on her wedding day, with her husband, Eugene Francis Coyle on the right, and the late Terence Cardinal Cooke, Archbishop of New York, Mr. Coyle’s cousin, on the left, who performed the marriage ceremony.

Joan de Got Washburn Coyle, a Darien resident since 1966 and beloved wife and mother, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 at Stamford Hospital. She was 86. She was the daughter of the late Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Lawrence Washburn.

She is survived by her devoted husband of 56 years, Eugene Francis Coyle; her daughters, Nancy Coyle-Downs and Laura Coyle; and her grandsons Connor, Hunter and Gannon Downs. She is survived by her brother Lawrence Washburn, and her sisters Nancy Van Voorhees, Cornelia Granger and Camilla Donnelly.  She was predeceased by her sister Elizabeth Diehle.

Joan was born on August 29, 1926 in New York City. She attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart and graduated valedictorian of her class in 1944. She majored in English at Manhattanville College, class of 1948.

Joan Coyle, in the background on the set of the Mary Margaret McBride show, with McBride in center, flanked by Eleanor Roosevelt, on left and Harry Truman.

Her professional career embraced a host of journalistic endeavors. She ran the Public Relations Departments of Putnam Publishing, and the Mary Margaret McBride Show, which set the standard for modern talk radio. Joan recruited guests the caliber of Harry Truman and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Joan joined Time Inc., in 1956, where she met her future husband Gene. Joan’s first assignment was as Secretary to the Assistant Managing Editor Henry Grunwold, who went on to become Managing Editor and eventually Editor-In-Chief of all of Time, Inc. Upon retirement, he was appointed as Embassador to Austria.

Joan went on to be Picture Researcher in the World Section of Time, Inc. She left Time Inc. NY in 1962 to join her husband in helping to establish the Canadian edition of Time magazine and returned in 1966, when she joined the staff of the Darien News Review as Associate Editor. She joined Money magazine as Picture Editor in 1976-the first woman in the history of Time, Inc. to hold such a distinguished position. She retired in 1993 after suffering a series of debilitating strokes.

Joan was inducted into the “WHO’S WHO OF AMERICAN WOMEN”, in 1979.  She was also a long standing member of St. Thomas More Parish and of the Middlesex Club in Darien.

There was a visitation on Sunday, Feb. 10 from 2 to 6 p.m. at Edward Lawrence Funeral Home, 2119 Post Road, Darien.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday, Feb. 11 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Thomas More R.C. Church, 374 Middlesex Road, Darien.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Thomas More R.C. Church, 374 Middlesex Road, Darien, CT 06820.

lawrencefuneralhome.com

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