Concordia University



Concordia mourns the loss of Ronald Coyte

Former political science professor, 1928 - 2019
May 31, 2019
By Elisabeth Faure, with files from the Montreal Gazette

Concordia is mourning the loss of longtime political science professor Ronald Coyte, who died on May 24.

An active member of the university, first at Loyola College and then at the downtown campus following the 1974 merger, Coyte will be remembered for his warmth, team spirit, and wit.

“Ron was a great colleague, always ready to help, and very loyal,” recalls Henry Habib, a professor Emeritus in Coyte’s former department.

“He never refused any task given to him, both at Loyola and then at Concordia. We will all miss him, especially his sense of humor.” Habib further notes that Coyte was the department’s second-ever professor at its Loyola location.

Coyte, an assistant professor, also served as departmental chair from 1974 – 1975.

Coyte is survived by his beloved wife Denise (Dumais) Coyte, children Marc, Philippe and Michele, and their spouses Janice, Caroline and Xavier, respectively. Coyte is also survived by grandchildren Paul and Ryan, Matthew (now a student at Concordia) and Adam, and Elise and Simon Lee.

Born in London, England in 1928, Coyte served in the British army in Africa before working as a London cabbie. He pursued his studies in the evening, and went on to win a series of scholarships that led him to Oxford university.

He met his wife on a transatlantic ship voyage after winning a Fulbright scholarship to study in the U.S.A.

The pair were married in London in 1961 and moved to Montreal when Coyte was offered a faculty position at Loyola College in 1963.

The couple raised their family in Montreal’s Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood before Ron’s retirement in 1996.

 “When I joined Concordia’s Department of Political Science in 1985 as a young and inexperienced assistant professor, Ron was already a seasoned member of faculty,” says Daniel Salée, now a full professor and director of the department’s graduate program.  “He was generous with his time and knowledge of the university system, and helped me launch my own career.”

“What I remember best about Ron is his no-nonsense view of life and politics, and most of all his integrity as a teacher and scholar. I learned from the strong example he set. May you rest in peace, dear Ron, and my heartfelt condolences to the family.”

Coyte’s loved ones note he was a voracious reader – and that he never lost his British accent.

Ronald Coyte’s funeral and reception will be held on Saturday, June 1, at the Holy Redeemer Church, 44 Rothesay Dr, Kanata, Ontario. To learn more, and to sign the online book of condolences, visit  

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