January 11, 2008 will be remembered as a sad day for the Airdrie arts community and local charities, with the passing of Robert A. Coyne, a local artist, poet and philanthropist. In his later years, Robert dedicated his life to his passions of painting and poetry, and to donating his works to local charities so that the less fortunate would not have to experience life as Robert had. Robert’s dream was to have charities contact him and use his works of art to raise money to ensure that no child ever had to worry about shelter or a warm meal, unlike Robert, who as a young boy growing up in the streets of Montreal, experienced many days without food or shelter. Robert greeted life’s challenges with enthusiasm and worked hard to turn potentially unfortunate circumstances into positive outcomes. Facing the realization that he had artistic talents but no money to buy supplies, Robert created his own unique method of painting. Instead of using expensive brushes and pallet knives, Robert created his works using cut-up pieces of cigarette packages and cardboard. Although Robert never received formal training, his paintings were collected worldwide and he enjoyed several successful art shows. Recently, with the assistance of our local folks at Goldworks and Famous Framers, Robert donated a painting to the Airdrie food bank and was able help with fundraising. As with all other life challenges, Robert fought hard to overcome his latest, cancer spreading throughout his body. Although Robert did not make his 67th year, he has left a lasting impact on many in our community and, by living a frugal artist’s lifestyle, has left the resources to create scholarships and bursaries for the less fortunate artists in our community. Prior to passing away peacefully in his sleep, Robert expressed three lasting hopes: (1) that he rejoins his beloved Lorraine who predeceased him only a few short months ago; (2) that no memorial service be held for him so that all of his resources can go to the less fortunate; and finally, (3) that those in need do actually come forward and ask for help and use Robert as an inspiration, that it is possible to overcome hardships and unfortunate circumstances with a little assistance. Those wishing to contribute to Robert’s dream of providing back to the community may, in lieu of flowers, contact Jim Hassett at Warnock, Rathgeber and Hassett (firstname.lastname@example.org) and make a donation in Robert’s name. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com.
In living memory of Robert Coyne, a tree will be planted at Fletcher Park Memorial Forest by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Airdrie Funeral Home, 300 TOWERLANE DRIVE, AIRDRIE. Telephone: (403) 948-1100.Print This Obituary & Condolences