Carl Wendell Coates – Class of 1935
Carl W. Coates, born July 22, 1923, in Ponca City, Oklahoma, to Floyd L. and Ruth (Bonnell) Coates, both teachers.
To finance an expensive for his deaf son, Floyd Coates ran for and won the office of Kay County Superintendent of Schools, which he held for 12 years. The family moved to Newkirk, OK. When Carl was six, he was sent for six years of education to the Central institute for the Deaf in St. Louis, Missouri to learn to lip read and speak.
Carl graduated in 1942 from Newkirk High School. During World War II, he served a six-year apprenticeship in printing at Ponca City News. He was employed at the News for 46 years before retiring in 1988. He was married in 1947 to former classmate, Eleanor Smith, in Omaha, Nebraska. They reconnected at the Central Institute for Deaf reunion after 12 years of no contact.
Carl served as deacon and elder of the First Presbyterian Church and later treasurer of the Good Samaritan Sunday School Class at the First United Methodist Church, both in Ponca City. Over the years, he was widely sought to perform pantomime acts at civic organizations. Carl was a YMCA coach for his sons & their friends during his boys’ little league days.
For his contribution of time and support to the community of Ponca City, in 2000 Carl received the Service to Mankind Award from the Ponca City Sertoma Club. He spent over 3,000 hours performing voluntary work at the Ponca City Hospital.
Carl and Eleanor enjoyed traveling to Europe, Alaska, and the Caribbean. With each of their hearing dogs, Ashley and Sierra, they traveled to four corners of the United States by car and airplane.
In 2000, Carl and Eleanor moved to Epworth Villa Retirement Community in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma where they made many new friends. They joined the church family at Quail Springs United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City.
Preceding Carl in death were his parents and brother, Frank Coates, of Tonkawa, Oklahoma. Carl is survived by his wife, Eleanor and his sister, Dorothy Pataky, of Riverside, California. Also surviving are his two sons, C. Victor and his wife, Marilyn Coates of Ponca City and Dick and his wife, Barbara Coates of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His three granddaughters are Lindsey Coates of Phoenix, Arizona, Courtney Thomas and husband Brad of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Chelsea Walters and husband Cody of Edmond, Oklahoma. Carl had two great grandchildren, Crew Thomas and Remington Walters.
Casket bearers include J. R. Bales, Rick Waddell, and Tom Muchmore of Ponca City and his Epworth coffee buddies, Frank Jones, Walt Thone, and Gilbert (Gib) Gibson.
A visitation with the family will be held from 7:00 – 9:00 PM on Friday, April 25, 2014 at Trout Funeral Home & Crematory. Graveside funeral services will be held at 2:30 PM on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at Resthaven Memorial Parks with Tom Howard officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Central Institute for the Deaf, Coates-Smith Endowed School Fund, 825 South Taylor Avnue, Saint Louis, MO 63110.