Clinton Coates of Creston, BC passed away unexpectantly on September 8 after living a long and complete life spanning 94 years. He will be sadly missed by his loving wife Bertha and his family. Clinton was predeceased by his eldest child Mary Lou Hill in 2017. He is survived by his other four children, Vernon Coates, Janalee Shutiak (Peter), Grant Coates (Debbie), Gayle Raymond (Rich), Mary Lou’s husband Brian Hill, 10 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. Clinton is also survived by his brother Gordon Coates and by two stepchildren, Cindy Kline and Joyce Johnson. He was pre-deceased by his two siblings Margaret Osborn and Vernon Coates and two stepchildren, Pat Andrew and Diane Sandre.
Clinton was born on May 21, 1927 in Cereal Alberta and grew up in a farming community around New Brigden Alberta. As the eldest son, during his early teen years when his father fell ill, he had the responsibility of helping support the family by working a combine for other farmers during harvest time. Although he worked the fields, Clinton’s real passion was horses and often regaled family and friends with tales of ‘breaking’ broncos or cutting the hair off the wild horses’ tails and manes to sell during the war years for the army’s use in bedding. He was a true storyteller capturing the imagination of young and old with the many accounts of his life adventures. Clinton lived and worked in small towns throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan until becoming a licensed mechanic. This was the ticket that provided the avenue for Clinton to return to university to obtain his vocational teaching degree. And so at the age of 40, he moved the family from Saskatchewan to Calgary and began university life at the University of Alberta. This was quite a feat considering his age, the commute travelling back and forth between Calgary and Edmonton and the necessity to work part-time to continue to provide for his family while pursuing this degree. Upon completion Clinton then taught at various high schools throughout Calgary for the next 15 years.
Clinton was extremely proud to be a father, granddad and great grandad. He was an avid participant in his children’s sports and extra-curricular endeavors coaching his sons’ hockey teams; umpiring his daughters’ softball games; cheering on swimming and figure-skating competitions; and attending many musicals and choir concerts. For many years he spent hours at the Glenbrook community skating rink flooding once all the skaters were done for the night to make sure the ice was ready for the next day. Further fostering his commitment to family and community, Clinton also took a turn as Community President.
During his two summer months, and then during much of his retirement, Clinton loved to camp and travel, trailering throughout Canada and the US. While on one such trip he fell in love with a small town in BC called Creston and decided this was the town he would retire in. After living in so many different places, Clinton had finally found his dream place and so settled in a valley in the mountains, no longer a ‘prairie boy’. Planting his feet here, this would be the place he stayed for the longest period in his life, almost 40 years. He lived life to the fullest in his retirement, square dancing, hiking, camping, canoeing, fishing, and enjoying everything a small town in the Rocky Mountains provided.
He will be greatly missed by all: The Dad, the Granddad, the Great Granddad, the Husband, the Father-in-law, the Uncle, the Storyteller.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that if you would like to make a donation, please make it to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
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