Friday, April 6, 2018

On this day in 1927: Florence Earle Coates dies

Church of the Redeemer
Bryn Mawr, PA
March, 2016

...They live indeed—the dead
By whose example we are upward led...

Florence Earle Coates died in Hahnemann Hospital, Philadelphia on 6 April 1927. In 1924 she "contracted a form of nephritis ["chronic interstitial nephritis" as per death certificate] which led to a cerebral hemorrhage and death three years later." (Notable American Women, 1607-1950: A Biographical Dictionary, 1971.) A funeral service announcement clipping found opposite p. 109 in a copy of The Unconquered Air (1912) states that her funeral would be held at her home on April 9th at 2:00 pm.  Within the same pages holds a note stating that Mrs. Coates' poem "Immortal" was read at the funeral service.

Mrs. Coates is buried in the churchyard of the Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania next to her husband Edward Hornor Coates. The inscription on Mrs. Coates' headstone, "THEY LIVE INDEED—THE DEAD BY WHOSE EXAMPLE WE ARE UPWARD LED", is taken from a memorial poem she wrote for Eliza Sproat Turner (who died ca. 1903) entitled "In Memory." Florence's husband's inscription, "HIGH THOUGHT SEATED IN A HEART OF COURTESY," is based on Sir Philip Sydney's description of an honorable man and gentleman.

Digital drawing by Sonja N. Bohm

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