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USC receives $41K gift in memory of former teacher

By Staff | Oct 20, 2013

The United South Central School Board accepted $41,200 on Oct. 15 to establish the Eldon and Phyllis Coyle Memorial Scholarship fund.

Coyle, 93, passed away on Dec. 20, 2012.

He will be remembered for his legacy as an educator, who’s teaching ability many former students claimed was second to none.

Before teaching 40 years of chemistry and physics at USC, he taught in Mabel and Preston. He spent many hours off the clock preparing his classes.

Coyle married Phyllis Beckmann, the Wells public school secretary at the time, on Oct. 19, 1946 at First Lutheran Church in Wells.

“There has been a lot quality teachers walk through these halls,” Roger Stelter, family representative says. “But, Eldon was exceptional.”

Coyle was offered jobs at the University of Minnesota to teach, but his love was working with high school students.

Coyle’s son and daughter Duane and Dolores gave $20,000 to start their dad’s memorial fund. Other donations totaled another $21,200 dollars, for a total of $41,200.

The fund will be set aside in a separate school account to gain interest, according to superintendent Jerry Jensen.

The scholarship would go to a USC senior who wants to continue their education in a science or education field. He or she would also need to be active in the community to be eligible. Coyle was a member of the Lions Club and active in his church. The idea would be either one scholarship for $1,000 a year or two $500 scholarships given to two students deserving.

On behalf of the family, Stelter also requested that the new USC school building display a plaque with Coyle’s name on it. In addition, he asked permission from the board to possibly name a corridor after Coyle.

The board responded by saying there are no established namings or plaques yet, but will take it into consideration.

“He was a great man and people should know who he was,” Stelter says.