Eleanor Smith Coates – Class of 1936

Eleanor Esther Smith Coates, born August 1, 1924, in Omaha, Nebraska, the daughter of Victor B. and Esther Devalon Smith, passed away on Monday, June 30, 2014. She was 89.

Beginning at the age of five, to learn speech and lip-reading, Eleanor spent seven years at Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis, MO. In 1942, she graduated high school from Brownell Hall in Omaha, Nebraska. In 1946, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry at Grinnell College, Iowa and in 2004 was recognized as an Alumni Award recipient. She was employed as a medical technician at Fifth Army Laboratories in Omaha and Fort Sheridan, Illinois. In 1947, she married former classmate, Carl W. Coates in Omaha. Eleanor’s list of accomplishments included being a homemaker, voluntary civic worker and past treasurer of Daughters of the American Revolution. She was also a sponsor of Dogs for the Deaf in Central Point, Oregon and was enrolled for seven years in International Bible Study Fellowship. She was a member of First United Methodist Church in Ponca City and associate member of Quail Springs United Methodist Church of Oklahoma City.

Eleanor was a sports fan. She and Carl enjoyed traveling to Europe, Alaska and the Caribbean Seas. With each of the two hearing dogs, they traveled to the four corners of the United States by car and airplane. She resided in Ponca City until 2000 when she moved to Epworth Villa Retirement Center in Oklahoma City.

She is survived by two sons, C. Victor Coates and his wife, Marilyn, of Ponca City and Dick Coates and his wife, Barbara, of Oklahoma City; three granddaughters, Lindsey Coates, of Phoenix, Arizona, Courtney Thomas and husband, Brad, of Oklahoma City and Chelsea Walters and husband, Coty, of Edmond. Eleanor also has two great-grandchildren, Crew Thomas and Remington Walters. She is also survived by one niece, Anne Lyman and her husband, Ed, of Winnetka, Illinois.

Preceding her in death are her husband, Carl; a brother, Victor D. Smith; two sisters, Cora Lee Smith and Elizabeth Smith, all of Omaha.

Casket bearers include Michael Boulanger, Roger Riggs, Rick Waddell, Tom Muchmore, Marc Nuttle, Robin Riley and Jerry Corbin.

A visitation with the family will be held from 7-8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 2, at Trout Funeral Home and Crematory. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 3, at Epworth Villa Retirement Community in Oklahoma City. A gravesite service will be held at 3 p.m. at Resthaven Memorial Parks with the Rev. Tom Howard officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to Central Institute for the Deaf, Coates-Smith Endowed School Fund, 825 South Taylor Avenue, Saint Louis, MO 63110.