Norman Coan (1927 - 2013)

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Norman K. Coan

Norman Kennedy Coan, 85, formerly of Neenah, died Saturday, March 30, 2013, at Grand Horizons Residence in Kimberly. He was born on November 3, 1927, in Wyandotte, Michigan, the son of Norman Allison and Darlene (Hogue) Coan. He volunteered in 1946 for service in the Army of Occupation in Japan and later graduated from Michigan State University. He married Norma Jean Chisler in 1950 and raised five children with her.

Norman served for many years in the executive ranks of Kimberly-Clark, Neenah, and then as president of Bake-Rite Bakery, Plover, and then as vice president of Lenox Candles, Oshkosh. He co-founded The Wilderness Club, Inc., in 1967 and served on its board of directors for more than 30 years. His friends considered him a fine woodsman.

Starting in 1984, Norman spent part of each year in the north woods of Wisconsin and the rest of each year in the deserts of Arizona and southern California. In 2008, he returned to the Fox Cities to live near family.

For many decades Norman provided significant financial and other support to family, friends and fellow members of society. In the final years of his life, his executive abilities unraveled, and he himself needed financial and other support. Family, friends and employees of various businesses and social agencies responded generously, consistently doing more than was required or asked of them.

Lori Ratzburg of the Outagamie Housing Authority showed many kindnesses to Norman. Judy Borgwardt made him feel truly welcome at Pinewood Apartments in Hortonville. Mary Guyette and Mary Bayer of Outagamie County's Supportive Home Care Program repeatedly went above and beyond their duties to help him remain in his apartment as long as possible. Dan Mercer and Kathy Rusch treated him with dignity and respect while helping him make a smooth transition to St. Joseph Residence in New London. Dr. Robin Price helped him quit driving at an opportune time. Dr. Lisa Kokontis showed extraordinary interest in his neurological deficits and established a pharmaceutical regimen that greatly enhanced his final years. Community Care case manager Kristen Muench and nurses Donna Brantmeir, Vonda Dahms and Marcia Smith were instrumental in helping him move to Grand Horizons Residence in Kimberly. Dr. Michael Gitter treated him with profound compassion and wisdom during the most important medical appointment of Norman's life.

Volunteers with the Outagamie County Home Delivered Meals program helped Norman live independently as long as possible. Employees of Gilbert's Super Valu in Hortonville treated him with kindness and helpfulness. Kim Gorman of Wolf River Bank in Hortonville treated him as though he were a member of her own family, not only helping him with his checking account but also jump-starting his car at his apartment and later visiting him at St. Joseph Residence. Maria and Jacque at St. Joseph Residence and Heather, Rebecca, Alicia, Megan, Meggan, Deb, Lisa, Pakou, Shanna, Alyssa, Jane and Sonny at Grand Horizons Residence provided excellent care and companionship.

Norman's brothers Don and Dick and their wives Ruth and Marilyn extended many kindnesses to Norman throughout his life. His in-laws were similarly kind to him. His life was further enriched by countless acts of loving friendship by his fellow members of The Wilderness Club, Inc., and by his friends Chuck and Rhonda Weronke and Myron Caelwaerts, Long Lake; Don and Joyce Halron, Green Bay; Richard and Connie Loescher, John "Jack" Lindstrom and Bill Read, Appleton; Rollo Carter, Milwaukee; Mike Kelley, Surprise, Arizona; and special friend Jan Smith, Neenah.

Norman's final week of life was spent in the company of those closest to him. Despite his many health problems during that week, he consistently reported his condition as "fine" and exhibited a level of gratitude that bordered on awe.

Norman is survived by his son Chuck (Marti) Coan, Neenah; his son Bill (Lois) Coan, Hortonville; and his daughter Carrie (Jack) Jantzen, Battleboro, NC; and by numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his twin brother Don, his former wife Norma and his twin daughters Nancy and Jane.

In accordance with Norman's wishes, no memorial service will be held. Memorial contributions can be made to Outagamie County Home Delivered Meals, 401 S. Elm Street, Appleton, WI 54911.

Published in Appleton Post-Crescent on Apr. 7, 2013
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