In memoriam: Frank B. Coakley

Frank B Coakly

March 3, 2021

No one wore the title of “Chief Business Development Officer” better than Frank Coakley. Frank’s commitment to affordable housing and community development made him a well-known and beloved figure throughout the city of Baltimore, an “industry giant” who served with “expertise, relationship and consensus building proficiency, and a kind and gentle heart,” recalls Sean Russell, BCL Vice President & Chief Lending Officer. He was a quiet, soft-spoken man who rarely asked for the podium; but when he talked, people listened. Paul Graziano, a BCL Board member and former Baltimore City Housing Commissioner, notes that, “Frank was always a significant presence, a respected and ubiquitous voice for the underserved people and communities of this city and state.” Paul Taylor, BCL Advisory Board member and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Minority & Women-Owned Business Development, remembers Frank as “a dear friend to the small business community.”

Frank was more than a co-worker to the staff at Baltimore Community Lending; he was a mentor and friend. He taught us that making Baltimore a better place starts with a cup of coffee and a conversation with a potential client or partner. He walked in the office door every morning greeting us with a cheery “Good morning, good morning, good morning.” Roy Miller, Real Estate Loan Administrator, put it simply: “Frank Coakley made you a better person just by knowing him.”

Watchen Bruce, BCL’s President and CEO, shares that “Frank was my special advisor and friend. He made our prospective borrowers and clients comfortable by meeting with them one-on-one to determine their financing needs.  We will all dearly miss him.”

Prior to his tenure at Baltimore Community Lending, Frank’s roles included Assistant Secretary at the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, Senior Vice President at The Harbor Bank of Maryland, and Director of the Baltimore Partnership Office. He was a proud graduate of Morgan State University and founding member the Iota Phi Theta service Fraternity.

The funeral service will be held at Morgan State University on Saturday, March 6 at 12pm. The service will be streamed live via this link:

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Morgan State University Foundation: