March 3 last saw the passing of Joe Coyle (80) of Anderson Crescent in the Top of the Hill.
For those who knew him, Joe could be best described as a genuine character filled with a warm, friendly manner and great sense of humour. There was, however, also a serious side to Joe in that he could be called upon at any time to seek his opinion, offer advice or just listen. Joe always spoke with a voice of experience and knowledge and his many words of wisdom were no doubt based on a lifetime of experiences.
Joe had a long and varied career involving many years working on the dining/hospitality carriages of the three main railway lines that served Derry in the 1950s and 1960s. His job took him across Ireland and he often recounted stories of life on the railways.
Joe also spent a period working as a merchant seaman and again this took him to many places in Europe.
The final chapter of his career was spent as Park Ranger at St Columb’s Park where he worked for more than fifteen years and right up to his retirement in 1998.
After his retirement, and despite a deterioration in his health, Joe still managed to maintain an active and independent lifestyle and could be seen each day walking with his dog George along the Trench Road and Irish Street.
To those who knew Joe, his very sad passing marks the end of an era - but he leaves a positive imprint on all those who had the pleasure in calling him a friend, colleague and relative. May he rest in peace. APM