AGNES Anne COYLE
AGNES Anne COYLE
Agnes Anne Coyle was born in Breese, Illinois, and moved to St. Louis in 1960 after graduating from DePaul Nursing School. Always drawn to action, she joined the team in the Emergency Department and quickly rose to become Head ER Nurse at City Hospital. It was there she met her husband, Dr. Maurice Coyle.
The Public Health Service deployed them to Anchorage in 1968 with three young boys in tow. While volunteering at the Alaska Native Hospital, Coyle and her friend Jeanne Dougherty envisioned and established the Native Hospital Craft Shop in a commandeered storage closet.
In 1985, Coyle and the shop established a scholarship fund, which has supported over 500 Native students over the years. In addition, they created the Auxiliary Heritage Collection, one of the finest Native/artwork collections in the state. In 1997, the Heritage Collection became the centerpiece décor in the new Alaska Native Medical Center on Tudor Road.
Coyle has been honored with the Governor’s First Lady Volunteer Award, the Governor’s Award for the Arts, the Eight Stars of Gold Citizenship Award, and the American Hospital Association Award for Volunteer Excellence.In addition, she was awarded Resolutions of Recognition by the Alaska Federation of Natives and the Alaska State Legislature in 1992.
Beyond the craft shop, Coyle was committed to helping the less fortunate in Anchorage.She helped found the Brother Francis Shelter and extensively supported Beans Café, Clare House, the Anchorage Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and St. Anthony’s Church. She gave herself through action – making meals, sharing time, and showing up to promote social justice.The phrase “Do good and avoid evil” guided her hard work and exemplified her kindness.