Dr. Jack L. Coats died on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas. He was born Dec. 24, 1928, in Fellsburg, Kan., to Clen Dennen Coats and Marie Cox Coats. At an early age, he moved to Miami, Okla. He graduated from Miami High School in 1946. He attended North East Oklahoma Junior College and transferred to the University of Oklahoma, graduating in 1951 with a degree in bacteriology. He served in the U.S. Army for two years, mostly working in bacteriology labs at Pine Bluff Arsenal and Fort Detrick, Md. It was while he was at Fort Detrick that he met his future wife, Nancy Godsey. After discharge from the Army, he began his medical studies at the University of Oklahoma. He married Nancy on Aug. 21, 1954, in Frederick, Md. He graduated from medical school in 1957 and served an internship at St. John's Hospital in Tulsa, Okla. In 1959, Jack and Nancy moved to Farmington, along with their son, Larry. He opened his solo practice of family medicine April 1, 1959, and practiced for 35 years. During his years of practicing medicine, he headed up a very successful campaign for polio vaccination in the county. He was a Councilor for the New Mexico Medical Society for many years representing San Juan County. In 1976, he helped form the New Mexico Mutual Liability Insurance Co. to provide malpractice insurance to the physicians of New Mexico and served on their Board of Directors until his retirement in 1994. In 1986, he was involved with forming the San Juan IPA and served as its first president. He also served on the Hall of Fame Committee for the San Juan Regional Medical Center and was honored by them in 2006. He was a past president of the Farmington Museum Foundation and was very proud to be in charge of the root beer floats at the Ice Cream Social. Jack's activities and hobbies were reading, fly-fishing, skiing, backpacking, elk hunting, trips to Lake Powell, traveling all over the U.S. and Canada in his VW camper-van and cheering for his beloved Dallas Cowboys. Jack is survived by his wife, Nancy; son, Larry, and wife, Heather Hayes, of Salt Lake City, Utah; daughter, Becky, and her husband, Russell McNealy, of Albuquerque; son, Tim, and wife, Karen of Salt Lake City; two grandchildren, Ben McNealy of Newark, Del., and Grace McNealy of Albuquerque; and one sister, Patricia Shumaker of Sunnyvale, Calif.
The Guest Book is expired.
Jack's memorial service will be at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27, at the First United Methodist Church 808 N. Monterey Ave. in Farmington with the Rev. Dave Blackwell officiating.
Honorary pallbearers are Gwen Clouthier, Charles Freuden, Martin Johnson, John Rusen, Russ McNealy and Dr. James Spence.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the San Juan College Foundation Scholarship Fund, 4601 College Blvd., Farmington, NM 87402 or the First United Methodist Church Foundation, 808 N. Monterey Ave., Farmington, NM 87401.
Dr. Coats' care is entrusted to Brewer, Lee and Larkin Funeral Home, 103 E. Ute St. in Farmington, 505-325-8688. Those who wish to express their condolences may do so at www.serenityandcompany.com.
Brewer, Lee & Larkin Funeral Home
103 East Ute Street Farmington, NM 87401
Published in Farmington Daily Times from Sept. 17 to Sept. 30, 2013