Charles Fortunato Coira, Jr. “Bud” died at Sunnybrook Assisted Living in Hendersonville NC, Saturday, November 30, 2019 at the age of 96. He was born in Philadelphia, Pa. and spent his childhood in Lock Haven, Pa. He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Emma Selzer Coira, his parents Charles F. Coira, Sr. and Mary Dempsey Coira and his sister, Mary Sampsell.
Bud is survived by his son, Charles F. Coira III (Chuck) and wife Robin of Charlotte NC, his daughter, Barbara Newton (Babs) and husband, Coy of Hendersonville, NC, four grandchildren, Jennifer Giesber, Kaylee Lundberg, Holly Newton all of Charlotte, NC, Heath Newton of Wilmington, NC, and five great grandchildren.
In 1946, Bud graduated from the University of NC-Chapel Hill School of Law where he had been president of the Law School Student Body. He and Emma moved to Charlotte in the late 1940’s and Bud joined the Carpenter and Webb Law Firm. Later he became a partner at the Harkey-Fletcher-Faggart-Coira and Lambeth Law Firm, where he practiced law until his retirement in 1982.
Bud was very active in many civic organizations in Charlotte. He served as the chairman of the Mecklenburg County Chapter of the American Red Cross, co-chair of the Charlotte Chapter of The National Conference of Christians and Jews, president of the Charlotte Junior Chamber of Commerce and president of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Society. He served on many other civic organizations’ boards throughout the years. Bud was selected as Charlotte’s “Young Man of the Year” in 1957. From 1971-1990 he was the Honorary Consular Agent, Republic of Italy, for the states of North Carolina and South Carolina. Additionally, Bud was a candidate for the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1954 and 1956.
Bud’s greatest accomplishment in Charlotte was his involvement in the 1960’s civil rights movement. During this turbulent time, he and other local businessmen successfully organized members of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce to invite a black friend to lunch at the “White’s Only” restaurants throughout Charlotte. That peaceful, community action opened the doors of local restaurants to all people in Charlotte.
Bud and Emma moved to Laurel Park NC in 1983. Together they spearheaded the beautification of Jump Off Rock in Laurel Park. Bud also secured funds for the development of Laurel Green Park through the North Carolina Board of Natural and Economic Resources, of which he had been a board member. Bud will be remembered as a kind and honorable man who always had a joke for every situation and a beautiful, operatic voice. He loved his family deeply and will be greatly missed.
A mass of remembrance will be held at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Bud can be made to Sunnybrook Assisted Living, 306 Spring Street, Hendersonville, NC 28739 for the employee appreciation fund.
Bud’s family extends deep gratitude to all of the staff at Sunnybrook for the wonderful and loving care they gave to him and to Four Season Hospice for being with Bud and his family through Bud’s final journey on this earth.
Arrangements are in the care of Shuler Funeral Home, Hendersonville NC.