Belleville – Metro-East unionists are mourning the loss of a beloved union leader, John A. “Jack” Coyne, formerly president of the Southwestern Illinois Central Labor Council AFL-CIO.
Coyne, 89, of Belleville, died Dec. 16 at Memorial Hospital in Belleville.
He was born Oct. 8, 1926 in Carlinville, IL, and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, with an honorable discharge in 1946. He married Danita Coyne in 1946, and they moved from St. Louis to Belleville in 1955.
He was a concrete finisher who worked at Belleville West High School for 20 years, helping care for the grounds and athletic facilities. He became president of Service Employees International Union Local 116 and was president of Belleville Trades and Labor until it merged with the East St. Louis Labor Council to form the Central Labor Council. He then continued as president of the council for many years. He also had served as president of Belleville Khoury League and the Belleville Senior Citizens Club.
Bill Thurston, current president of the Labor Council, remembered that Coyne was a hard-working union man who cared about his community.
“He was a good guy and a good president – just a loyal, dedicated union leader and Labor Council leader,” Thurston said.
Services were held Dec. 18 at Lake View Funeral Home, Fairview Heights, with interment at Lake View Memorial Gardens. Memorials may be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois. Condolences can be made online and seen at lakeviewfuneralhm.com.