LeRoy H. Coon (1934 - 2014)

Obituary
  • "Deepest sympathy to the famiy may our creator grant you..."
    - Rosa
  • "God bless you - may he keep Leroy and your entire family in..."
  • "My condolences to the Coon family... Leroy was such a kind..."
    - Michael Wilde
  • "I have known Leroy for years, as I have the entire Coon..."
    - Terrance Seslar
  • "Leroy, you were one of the best additions to the Eagle..."
    - Judy Klein

LeRoy H. Coon passed away April 4, 2014 in Phoenix, AZ of lung cancer. He was born December 16, 1934, to Stanley and Pauline Coon in Nekoosa, Wisconsin where he attended school and recently celebrated his 60th High School Class Reunion. He served four years in the U.S. Air Force including one year in Greenland.
He and his wife, Sandie "honeymooned" in 1957 by driving the unpaved Alcan Highway from Southern California to their new home in Fairbanks, Alaska. While there, he had the privilege of voting for Alaska Statehood. In 1959 their first child. Daniel was born. The three of them moved the following year to Long Beach, California so LeRoy could attend college and they began raising their family which expanded with the additions of daughters Marla, Karen, and Elizabeth. He worked in the aerospace industry on the Saturn and Apollo Rockets, the B-1 Bomber, the Boeing 747, and spent a year working on gyrocopters in Lake Havasu, AZ where he discovered his joy of rock hounding.
While living in California, he became a Boy Scout leader for his son's troop going on countless camping and mountain climbing adventures in the Sierra Nevada's and enjoyed close ties with his fellow scout leaders for the rest of his life. The pinnacle of his mountain climbing achievement was in summiting Mt. Whitney at 14,495 feet with his scout troop. He was instrumental in converting Troop 430 from a tailgating troop into a backpacking specialized troop.
Many weekends were spend with his family and friends enjoy camping adventures in Northern California and the eastern Sierras. He was avid fisherman who is credited with teaching many to fish.
In 1975, the coon family returned to Alaska and where LeRoy began a 24-year long career with the State of Alaska DOT – Bridge Design Division. During that period he inspected just about every bridge in the state and developed friendships with people from all over the state. He retired as the Bridge Inspection Manager in 1999.
LeRoy's lifelong joys included playing the harmonica, with polkas and oompah music being his favorite. He loved the outdoors, fishing, camping, playing games and enjoying time with family and friends.
He lived his faith in action through services at the Douglas Community United Methodist Church and the Eagle River United Methodist Camp and working with the Volunteers in Mission (VIM's). He was frequently heard saying "Thank God for VIM's" LeRoy was a hard working local volunteer in mission and served for 25+ years on the board of the Eagle River United Methodist Camp. One of his final labors of love was spending almost two years hand-building 30 sets of bunk beds for all the summer cabins at the camp.
LeRoy and Sandie enjoyed spending their retirement years as snow-birds. They spent their winters at their "Hacienda" in Coolidge, AZ where LeRoy enjoyed playing the harmonica in the park's band and performed in numerous plays.
LeRoy was a wonderful family man. He was a "father figure" to many and a role model for all. LeRoy is remembered for his never ending patience, his hard work, his helping hands, his friendly manner, and warm smile that he shared with everyone. While he was always ready with a hug for anyone who needed one, he also had a Wisconsin bred stubborn streak that even the Packers would have a hard time tackling.
LeRoy is survived by his wife, Sandra, his four children and their spouces/partners: Dan (Trish) Coon, Marla Adams (Ruth Olsen), Karen (Jeff) Wright, Elizabeth "Beth" McEwen; six grandchildren: Joshua, Melanie, Jacob, Lucinda, Gregory, and Wesley and five great grandchildren as well as his sister and brother-in-law Alice and Ken Lowney and his nephew, nieces and their families. He leaves behind his special family friends who will miss him greatly!
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 2 p.m. at the Douglas Community United Methodist Church with a reception to follow. Friends and Family are invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the LeRoy Coon Memorial Fund c/o Sandra Coon and will be put towards a memorial to be placed at the Eagle River United Methodist Camp in LeRoy's honor.
Published in The Juneau Empire on May 30, 2014
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