W. John Coila (1948 - 2017)

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  • "Sorry for your loss. "God is near to all those calling upon..."
    - Anthony
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William "John" Coila Jr. departed Sept. 1, 2017, at his Homestead in Homer, Alaska. Born in Vancouver, Wash., on Feb. 3, 1948, to Bill and Eylah Coila, he grew up enjoying the forests of Chelatchie Prairie, Wash.
In 1980, John drove the Alcan to its end and found himself in Homer, Alaska. His quirky nature, beaming smile and glittering blue eyes quickly made him new friends and family. He lived his life exactly how he dreamed, achieving the homesteading life with a woman that enjoyed the lifestyle as much as he. Through many years as a fisherman, woodsman, building contractor, farmer and a short stint as a chemical engineer he gained skills that lent to successfully creating his Coila Homestead. It was his perfect world and on July 9, 2016, John completed his dream of love and homesteading, when he married his beloved Deborah.
John, aka "Pa" and "Grampa Grizzly Bear," was proud of all his children and felt they are his greatest legacy. He leaves his daughters, Mahealani, Makani, Jennifer, Heather and Amber; sons, Kahala, Matthew and Joshua; and grandchildren, Isabella, Keanae, Helela, Ka'aha and Iliahi.
John is also survived by his sisters, Kathy and Joyce; and his brothers, Erik, Leroy, Rick and Chris. He is preceded in death by his brother, Scott; his sister, Colleen; his mother and father; his first wife, Mary Jane; and his granddaughter, Kahea.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made in his memory at First National Bank of Alaska to "Coila Homestead." All funds will be used to complete outstanding projects at the Coila Homestead.
Please join us to share memories and cheers at the Homer Elks Lodge #2127, 215 Jenny Way in Homer, on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. Doors to open at 3 p.m., and services will begin at 4 p.m. Potluck welcome.
Published in Anchorage Daily News from Sept. 24 to Sept. 25, 2017
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