Eugene (Gene) Coyner, 94, of El Cerrito, chemist, consultant and economist, passed away peacefully on May 18, 2013. Born in Conover, North Carolina, December 25, 1918, to Martin and Lucia Coyner, he received his BS degree in chemistry at the University of Illinois in 1940, and PHD in organic chemistry from the University of Minnesota in 1944.
Gene began his career as a research chemist with DuPont Co., in Wilmington, Delaware in 1944 and later accepted a position at the University of Tennessee, as assistant professor of chemistry in 1946. He left academia in 1948 to join Mallinckrodt Chemical Works in St. Louis, Missouri, where he worked as a research supervisor for the next six years. He returned to DuPont in 1954, as research supervisor, sales development associate and business analysis associate, and remained there for fifteen years until his move to California in 1969. After a brief retirement, he joined Stanford Research International, in Menlo Park, as a senior industrial economist, and later as a consultant, until his retirement in 1984. He was a seventy year member of the American Chemical Society.
His greatest joy was spending time with his beloved family and friends, sharing a meal with lively conversation and laughter, accompanied by good food and wine. He had many interests which he pursued throughout his life. In addition to being a voracious reader, he was a lover of classical music, and performed with the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra, as a violinist, for several years. He was also an avid hiker and mountaineer, climbing 15,200 ft Monte Rosa in Switzerland in 1973, and completing the Appalachian Trail in 1976. After moving to the bay area, he completed much of the Pacific Crest Trail and was a member of the Sierra Club.
Following retirement, Gene and his companion of twenty four years, Diana Inchauspe, traveled the world extensively, appreciating the many varied diverse cultures.
Gene was predeceased by his wife of forty years, Ailie Hurley, in 1987, and grandson, Coyner Graff, in 2008. He is survived by his children, Sandra Coyner (spouse Joe Graff), Sharon Coyner (spouse Len Mecca), and Martin Coyner. He is also survived by grandson, Anthony Mecca, and companion, Diana Inchauspe.
His keen intellect, wisdom, gentleness, sense of humor and positive attitude endeared him to all who knew him and he will be greatly missed.