Hertha Emilie Hein Coyne, 85, passed away at home with her family by her side on December 30, 2018.
She is survived by her children, Thomas P. Coyne Jr. and Delores Phillips; seven grandchildren, Thomas Coyne III, Hannah Coyne, Kirsten Coyne, Kelly Coyne, Timothy Coyne, Jared Phillips and Megan Phillips; and one great grandchild, Carson Phillips.
Hertha was preceded in death by her parents, Franz Philip Porkert and Anna Maria Hein Porkert, by her loving husband of 59 years, Thomas Philip Coyne, a son-in-law, James Phillips, and two grandchildren, Ariel Coyne and Annie Phillips.
She was born to Franz P. and Anna Porkert in Karlsbad, Czechoslovakia on June 26, 1933. Hertha graduated from trade school (textiles) in Germany. She worked various jobs, including repairing nylon hosiery for Elbeo, the oldest hosiery brand in the world, and as an annex Manager of the snack bar for the US Army in Augsburg. Tom Coyne was known to frequent the snack bar ordering coffee from Hertha, and the rest is history.
Hertha and Tom moved to Fayetteville in 1960, and she very proudly gained her citizenship in 1966. She was an avid gardener, with an unmatched profusion of azaleas bursting into bloom every spring. Her hands were never idle, never meeting a craft that she couldn't tackle. She learned to knit at the age of four. She knitted so many beautiful sweaters (never needing a pattern), and pillows and afghans that it’s impossible to count. She sewed clothing with unparalleled precision for herself, her daughter and other family members. She was known for her excellent cooking - three squares a day - Hungarian goulash being a family favorite.
If you spent any time at all with Hertha, you quickly became familiar with her life story. She loved to reminisce about events, friends, family and the town where she grew up. She had a fiendishly amazing memory of people and events, recalling specific and colorful details. Her stories would be the envy of any Hollywood producer. She was 6 when WWII started, and at the age of 14, as the Iron Curtain fell, escaped to West Germany with her mother while hidden in a cast iron bathtub in the back of a truck. She had maintained correspondence with all of her cousins, and even to this day a friend from kindergarten. She cherished her friends, including Inge Nystrom, whom she called her sister-friend for over 60 years.
In her own words she said, “When we have children, we have an obligation to cherish them, love them, laugh with them, and listen to their fears and pains.” She always said that her children were her greatest achievement.
Hertha was a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church of Fayetteville.
A funeral mass will be held at 10:00 am on Wednesday, January 9th, 2019 at St. Patrick Catholic Church with burial to follow at Sandhills Veterans Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 8:45 am to 9:45 am immediately before the funeral.
In lieu of flowers a donation may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.