Robert I. Coats

STERLING – Robert I. Coats, 83, of Sterling, died Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, at Coventry Living Center in Sterling.

Bob was born March 25, 1930, in Jordan Township, to Robert R. and Veva N. (Finkle) Coats. He married Bernadine A. Waldschmidt on Aug. 25, 1951. Bob served in the Air Force as a communications expert. He was stationed in several U.S. locations, as well as Japan, France, Korea, and Turkey. He retired as a senior master sergeant after 27 years, 1 month, and 10 days of service. He and Bernadine then returned to Sterling. In retirement, he maintained the family farm. Bob was proud of his association with the Boy Scouts as a youth, and as a Scoutmaster. He enjoyed woodworking, and going to breakfast at the Family Table. He loved to tell stories and even wrote a book, called “This is My Story and I’m Sticking with It.” Bob was a lifetime member of East Jordan United Methodist Church.

Survivors include his wife, Bernadine of Sterling; two sons, Benjamin A. Coats of Antioch and Bradley A. (Debra) Coats of Florissant, Mo.; two granddaughters, Sarah and Katherine Coats; one brother, Russell F. (Virginia) Coats of Lebanon, Ohio; one sister-in-law, Misako Coats of Dixon; and many brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and two brothers, Thomas E. and James D. Coats.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at McDonald Funeral Home, 505 First Ave., Sterling. The funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at East Jordan United Methodist Church in Sterling, with the Rev. David Jungnickel officiating. Burial with military honors will be at East Jordan Cemetery in rural Sterling.

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