Wisconsin EMS Honor Guard

Mark W. Coyne, age 53, passed away on Sunday, May11, 2008, as a result of a UW Med Flight accident. He was born July29, 1954, at Madison General Hospital, to Anthony and LaDeane (Johnson)Coyne.

He graduated from Marathon High School, Marathon, Fla., in 1972.Mark married Melody Denslow on March 23, 1979. Mark received his associate in arts degree in 1979 and his associate in science degree with honors in nursing in 1980 from Miami-Dade Community College; and his diploma with honors in nursing in 1980 from the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Miami, Fla. From 1980 to May 1981, Mark was the unit charge nurse in the Medical-Surgical Unit of Variety Children' s Hospital in Miami, Fla. In June 1981, Mark joined the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics as the orthopedic unit charge nurse. From 1983 through 1986, he was a nurse clinicianin the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. In January 1986, Mark began his teaching career as an Emergency Medical Services instructor at the Madison Area Technical College, where he was currently teaching. In June 1986,Mark was recruited to the UW Med Flight program where he currently worked as a flight nurse for the last 22 years. Mark married Ann M. Voskuil on Oct. 5, 1991.

Mark was a private pilot and shared his love of flying with his neighborhood pilots in Waunakee. Mark also enjoyed traveling,especially sailing in the Caribbean with family and friends. He is survived by his wife, Ann of Waunakee; five siblings, Michelle (James) Schmaling of Whitewater, Monique (Keith) Johnson of Cherry Valley, Ill., Mitchell(Dana) Coyne of Loves Park, Ill., Megan (John) Cuccia of Oregon, and Mignon Coyne of Oregon; in-laws, Ralph and Margaret Voskuil of CedarGrove, Scott (Merry) Voskuil of Clintonville, Todd (Darlene) Voskuil of Waxhaw, N.C., Terry (Lori) Voskuil of Cedar Grove, and Brent (Jacki)Voskuil of Cedar Grove; numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives;and his special co-pilot, Zeus Cooper. He was preceded in death by his parents, Anthony and LaDeane Coyne; maternal grandparents, Edwin and Fern (Farnsworth) Johnson; and paternal grandparents, Herbert and Clara(Bauer) Coyne. A visitation will be held on Monday, May 19, 2008, at CROSSROADS CHURCH, 3815 South Dutch Mill Road in Madison, from 3 p.m.to 5 p.m. with a memorial service following at 5 p.m., Pastor Doug VanEssen presiding. A reception will follow in the church' s Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers, a memorial scholarship fund for nursing/EMS will be established in Mark' s name.

Education is like a candle...you lose nothingby lighting another candle, And, oh, how many you have lit.

Mark Coyne, Flight Nurse

Age: 53

Hometown: Madison, WI

End of Service: March 10, 2008

Birth: July 29, 1954

EMS Service: UW Med Flight


Nurse Mark Coyne remembered; died doing what he loved, sister says
Nurse Mark Coyne, 53, was remembered Monday evening at a spirited and poignant memorial service at the Crossroads Church in Madison attended by more than 600 people, including more than 150 Med Flight, EMS, fire department and other emergency medical personnel from southern Wisconsin.

Coyne, along with Dr. Darren Bean and Med Flight pilot Steve Lipperer, died in a medical helicopter crash outside of La Crosse on May 10. A commemorative service for Bean and Lipperer was held last week.

Damien Mikkelson, Coyne's nephew and former student at Madison Area Technical College, remembered the joking side of his uncle, who once offered him $400 in tuition money to dance in a hula skirt and coconut bra in front of their family - an offer Mikkelson took. Mikkelson said he had come to look on the event not as a dare, but as a test that helped him gain self-confidence.

"It saddens me to think that I won't be able to get back at him," he said. "Or to thank him for pushing me."

Laughs punctuated the tears of those gathered, who were treated to several such lighthearted remembrances from Coyne's friends and relatives.

The speakers remembered Coyne the boater, the joker, the drinking buddy, the fisherman, the teacher, the life of the party, the one who always played devil's advocate and the one who was a father figure to his five siblings after their father's death.

"He pushed us all to be our best, and then not to be satisfied, but to push on," his sister Megan Coyne Cuccia remembered.

After regaling the audience with a few stories of her own, Michelle Coyne Schmaling, Mark Coyne's eldest sister, said several people have asked how she and her siblings could be doing so well. She responded by remembering how her brother had always said that death was simply a part of life.

"We do what we do because of who we are," she said. "And Mark would expect no less."

Youngest sister Mignon Coyne said her brother died doing what he loved and there was no other way he would have wanted to go. She implored people to share stories about him to keep his memory alive.

She also extended her sympathies to Mark's widow, Ann Coyne, who she said "(is) and will always be our sister and our friend."

At the conclusion of the ceremony, a Madison Fire Department honor guard rang a bell nine times to announce the conclusion of their colleague's service.

The gathering was then moved outside, where UW's remaining Med Flight helicopter took off from the church's front lawn to join two others from La Crosse's Gundersen Lutheran Hospital and Milwaukee's Flight for Life, flying over the gathering.

As the three helicopters disappeared in the distance, one onlooker observed: "Look, they're taking him home."

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