Robert Donald Coe was born on January 7, 1919 to Albert and Louise (Coe) Meinema in Oakland, CA. Bob grew up in Southern California and legally changed his name to his mother's maiden name at the age of 21. Bob met the love of his life, Carolyn Slaikeu, at the Methodist Church in Alhambra. Both joined the Navy in 1942 and were married in a whirlwind affair at that same church in 1944. Bob was stationed in American Samoa for most of the war and learned the trade that would serve him throughout his life. Bob was honorably discharged in 1945 as an Electrician's Mate, First Class. After discharge, Bob went to work for the Pacific Bell Telephone Company climbing telephone poles. That ended up being the only company that he ever worked for. Forty-four years later, he retired as a Senior Engineer. Notable achievements during his career include helping to design the first freeway telephones as well as the first telephone kiosk stations at Los Angeles International Airport. Bob and Carolyn moved to Petaluma in 1976 where Bob finished his career with Pac Bell in San Francisco. After retirement he served for several years as Petaluma Ecumenical Housing's first handy man and continued to travel extensively with Carolyn (New Zealand and Alaska were their favorite trips). Bob was incredibly handy. He built his first family home; a mountain cabin (where he learned to snow ski at the age of 55); major additions to other homes; and even a travel trailer. Bob could fix or build just about anything and he passed his skills on to his grateful sons and grandsons. From the time that he met Carolyn, Bob became extensively involved in the Methodist Church in both So California and Petaluma. He served in virtually every office and led or participated in pretty much any commission or committee that would come along. Carolyn passed away 10 years ago. Bob leaves behind his children Ron (Vicki - Pleasanton), Patti (Dan - Dublin) and David (Doreen - Petaluma) as well as eight grandchildren, three great grand children, and his "second daughter" Carole O'Brien. The entire Coe family and extended family have been tremendously blessed by the life and love of Bob and Carolyn Coe. They are hugely missed here, but they are together again in God's grace for eternity. Bob will be laid to rest next to Carolyn in Cypress Hill Cemetery in Petaluma. The family would like to thank Springfield Place and White Rose Manor for extending extreme loving care to our father during the last eight years of his life. A memorial service will be held Sunday, February 10 at 3:00 p.m. at the United Methodist Church at 410 D St in Petaluma with a reception to follow at Dave and Doreen's home at 608 Garfield Drive.
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Published Online in the Press Democrat from Feb. 7 to Feb. 8, 2013