Joe Dale Coons, 73, of Costa Mesa, Calif., died at his home, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. A Celebration of Life will be held Feb. 1, 2014, at his son's home, 26162 Vintage Woods Rd., Lake Forest, Calif.
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Joe was born in Malvern, to Everett and Beatrice (Laws) Coons on July 1, 1940. When Joe was in third grade, the family moved to Glenwood where he graduated from Glenwood High School in 1958. Joe was an outstanding athlete participating in football, basketball and track. His love of sports and the Los Angeles Angels continued throughout his lifetime. Being a huge fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes, earned him the nickname, "Hawkeye" to his colleagues.
Joe worked his way through Omaha University by giving guitar lessons at Waller Music in Council Bluffs and Hospe's in Omaha. After moving to southern California, he continued giving guitar lessons, and played lead guitar in a rock band, regularly performing at the Sea Witch in Hollywood and other Orange County venues. He became good friends with others in the music business, including Leo Fender, the Lettermen, and Jan and Dean.
Joe and Susan Wells were married, Sept. 10, 1966. To this union a daughter, Suzanne and a son, Christopher were born. Joe put his Fender guitar away and began working as a design engineer for Interstate Electronics and later at North American Aviation, where he helped on the design of defense projects such as the Minute Man Missile. He eventually switched careers to the automotive business, working his way up the ranks to owning or managing several franchises, including Porsche/Audi, Mitsubishi and Toyota. He was held in high regard by his customers and colleagues for his honesty and sense of fairness.
Joe retired in 2002, eight years after losing Susan to cancer in 1994. Joe and a classmate, Charlene Radford Coffey, were married June 1, 2013, making their home in Costa Mesa. Although their time together proved to be short, they enjoyed traveling and spending time at their mountain cabin at Big Bear Lake.
Joe was preceded in death by Susan; his parents; brother Charles "Bud" Coons; sister and brother-in law, Pat and Gary Doerr; a niece and a nephew. He is survived by his wife, Charlene; son Christopher (Heather); daughter Suzanne Williams; grandson Vincent Williams; three stepchildren and their families, Chuck Coffey, Chris Coffey and Cammy Filkins; and a host of relatives and friends in southern California and Glenwood. His love of life, quick wit and kindness will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
Published in The Opinion-Tribune on Jan. 22, 2014