August Jackson “Jack” Coats, age 83 of Beardstown, died Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield.
He was born December 1, 1934 in Morgan County, the son of Harry Herbert and Willie B. Conner Coats. He married Lee Ann Landreth on July 10, 1954 in Beardstown.
He is survived by his wife Lee Ann Coats of Beardstown; four children Vallery Elizabeth Coats (partner Deb Jerzy) of Cave Creek, AZ, Stephanie Gay (husband Terry) Stoneking of Springfield, Alan Jeffrey (wife Tracey) Coats of Marseilles, and Jon Russell (wife Maggie) Coats of Belleville; six grandchildren Jason A. (wife Courtney) Coats, Amie E.(husband Tommy) Knous, Tyler R. Stoneking, Colin Jackson Stoneking, Phillip A. Pearson, and Laura C. (husband Christopher) Brammer; four great grandchildren Robert Jackson Coats, Matthew B. Coats, Analee E. Knous, and Shelby L. Knous; one sister Joyce Fishel; and three brothers Robert Coats, Russell Coats, and James (wife Vickie) Coats.
He was preceded in death by his parents, one sister Dorothy Emerick, and five brothers William, Milton, Herbert, Landon, and Harry Coats.
Jack grew up in Arenzville, near his Dad’s blacksmith shop, and attended school there. He was always a hard worker, bucked bales at age 13 and worked on a tugboat as a galley cook. After he got married he worked at The Baker Plant in Beardstown grinding the inside of large propane tanks. Once he realized that welders made a better living, he asked his dad to teach him how to weld. He eventually became a master welder, working his way up the ranks of Allis Chalmers/Fiat-Allis to Foreman, General Foreman, and Superintendent where he worked for over 30 years, staying on to help close down the plant, and holding the distinction of turning off the lights for the final time. He then joined the Millwright Union and started a second career. He worked on large construction projects and helped build the Twin Eagle Bridges over the IL River at Valley City as well as the 5-lane cable bridge in Burlington, Iowa that he was very proud of. With those big projects finished, he went on to work the dredging operations on the IL River. He never did officially retire, as he continued to share his many talents with his church community and his family. He truly was a “Jack of all trades”.
Jack was also a servant who loved his church and God. He has served as a church elder for many years and was always involved with the many missions or projects at the First Christian Church and Beardstown Christian Academy. When he had some down time, he enjoyed fishing and wood working. Most important to Jack was his family. He truly loved them, and will be missed by all.
Funeral services will be held at 11 AM, Saturday, June 30, 2018 at First Christian Church in Beardstown with Pastor Mike Courson officiating. Burial will follow in the Beardstown City Cemetery. The family will meet with friends from 9-11 AM Saturday at the church. Colwell Memorial Home in Beardstown is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials have been suggested to First Christian Church or Beardstown Christian Academy (BCA). Condolences may be left online at www.colwellmemorialhome.com or on Facebook at Colwell Memorial Home.
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