1868 – 1899 (January 25)
Walter Augustine Coar, son of Robert B. Coar and Catherine Hickey, was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, on January 5, 1868. He entered the novitiate at Villanova on September 2, 1888, and pronounced simple vows on September 3, 1889. After completing his philosophical and theological studies at Villanova and making his solemn profession on September 4, 1892, he was ordained to the priesthood in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia by Archbishop Patrick J. Ryan on May 27, 1895.
Father Coar was stationed at Villanova College where he became prefect of discipline and eventually vice-president. In a sudden and tragic accident on January 25, 1899, he fell as he was crossing the tracks at the Villanova Station and lay unconscious in the dark until a freight train ran over him. He was found about ten-thirty at night. He was 31 years of age, a talented man and a capable and willing worker.
The funeral took place at Villanova on Saturday, January 28th, with Bishop Prendergast presiding at the Office of the Dead, and Archbishop Ryan performing the absolution at the conclusion of the Solemn High Requiem Mass. Father John B. Leonard, O.S.A. was the celebrant of the Mass and Father John J. O’Brien, O.S.A. preached at its conclusion.
Father Coar was the last friar to be buried in the old Community Cemetery at Villanova, northwest of the church.