LEBANON, Ohio – The Rev. Russell F. Coats, 92, of Lebanon, Ohio, died Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018.
He was born July 8, 1926, to Robert and Veva (Finkle) Coats at their farm home in rural Sterling. After graduating from Sterling High School, Russell served in the Army for 2 years. He accepted a call to the ministry, and attended the University of Indianapolis, graduating in 1951 with a Bachelor’s in science in business education. On April 9, 1950, he married his childhood sweetheart, Virginia Main, at their home church, East Jordan United Methodist Church. They proceeded to seminary at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, where Russell received a Master of Divinity degree and was ordained in the Evangelical United Brethren Church (later, the United Methodist Church). In the course of 39 years of ministry, he served churches in Adair, Macomb, Peoria, La Moille, Shannon, and Freeport, and then returned to his home church, where he served for an additional 13 years in retirement. The Rev. Coats was well-loved as a father and pastor to many.
The Rev. Coats is survived by his sons, Timothy Coats of Liberty Township, Ohio, and the Rev. Paul (Gerianne) Coats of Rock Hill, South Carolina; daughters, Robin (Mark) Coats Gauss of Springfield, Susan (Brian) Buchanan of Gridley, and Jennifer (Dave Snyder) Coats of Cincinnati; daughter-in-law, Linda Coats of Green Bay, Wisconsin; sisters-in-law, Misako Coats of Dixon and Bernadine Coats of Sterling; 12 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren, and the spiritually adopted Owusu-Dekyi and Nghiem families.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 67 years, Virginia; sons, Steven and Carlos; and brothers, Thomas, James and Robert.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, and the funeral at noon Saturday at East Jordan United Methodist Church, 22027 Polo Road, Sterling, with Dr. Robin W. Lovin officiating. Burial will follow at the church cemetery.
Memorial donations may be sent to the Otterbein Benevolent Care Fund, 585 N. state Route 741, Lebanon, OH 45036; or East Jordan Church, 22027 Polo Road, Sterling, IL 61081.
Oswald-Hoskins Funeral Home in Lebanon, Ohio and Schilling Funeral Home & Cremation in Sterling handled arrangements.
Visit schillingfuneralhome.com to send condolences.