Tributes have been paid to Jackie (John) Coyle, 85 and a native of Derry who passed away last month in Saranac Lake, New York State.
Born on December 15, 1927 to Patrick and Hannah Coyle, Jackie is survived by his wife, Claire Brown, whom he married on September 16, 1957, his daughters Jan, Louise and Erin and his two sons: Terrence and Brendan.
John was born and raised in Derry but spent a few of his teen years in the bomb shelters of tumultuous World War II London, where his father built ships for the Allied forces.
Jackie returned to Derry and was sought after as a drummer by many of the ballroom big bands of the time. He eventually emigrated with his wife and children to the United States in 1967 to tour with the Emerald Show Band, which would later be renamed the Irish Revolution.
During those early years as a musician, Jackie played with elite jazz musicians such as vibraphonist Lionel Hampton.
Jackie wrote his first book in 2003, “The Castle has Fallen (The Reluctant Rebel),” which is a fictional story loosely based on his father’s service in the Northern Ireland Enniskillen regiment during World War I, and culminating in the beginning of the modern troubles between Northern Ireland and the English government.
He died on May 23 and was laid to rest on May 28.