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  • "Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time. He had a..."
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    - Brian, Laura, and Jennifer Kurtz
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WESLEY ALEXANDER COOTE A Registered Professional Reporter, who served the Courts of Delaware for 20 years and who after retirement as senior recorder in 1973 continued to serve through a freelance reporting service he operated in Dover with his wife, the late Edith Kurtz Coote, for many years, passed away on February 7, 2013 at 99 years of age in Pinnacle Rehab and Health Center, Smyrna, Delaware. Mr. Coote was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on January 25, 1914, one of seven children born to Charles Marwick Coote and Laura Mary (nee Reed) Coote. After graduation from Commercial High School and Alberta College, he moved to Toronto, Ontario to study Stenotype, the new machine - shorthand system through Shaw Business College and LaSalle Extension University of Chicago and also to pursue a career in music. In 1941, he held a war-time position of Assistant Traffic Manager for a large explosives plant near Niagara Falls, but that was interrupted by three years of service in the Canadian Army Corps of Military Staff Clerks. At war's end, he was discharged with the rank of sergeant. In 1945, Wesley Coote joined a shorthand reporting firm in Washington, D.C., with the chief duty of reporter for the Tax Court of the United States plus many federal commissions and congressional committees. While assigned to work with Judge James R. Kirkland of Delaware, he was convinced to accept an appointment as official reporter of the Superior Court, Court of Common Pleas, and Supreme Court of the State of Delaware. Among the many interesting cases he reported during the next two decades was the first successful use of radar for the arrest and conviction of a speeder, and the first successful trail for speeding based on the use of airplane surveillance. He served as Vice-President of the Associated Steno typists of America and as Secretary of the Delaware Shorthand Reporters Association. An active Rotarian much of his life, Coote served as President of the Dover Rotary Club. He was a charter member of the Brandywine Hundred Rotary Club of Wilmington, Delaware, a member of the Lancaster South Club in Pennsylvania, and Honorary Member of the Trenton Rotary Club in Canada. Mr. Coote valued his membership in the Union Masonic Lodge No. 7 of Dover, Delaware. He was a life member of Queen City Lodge of Toronto, a 32nd degree life member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Wilmington, a Noble of Nur Shrine and Director of Nur Shrine Chanters, a member of Victor Chapter No. 15 of Dover, and Worthy Patron of Harmony Chapter No. 40 Order of the Eastern Star in Washington, D.C. His musical career which began as a boy soloist in the Sunday School concert of the Edmonton Methodist Church and in his performance as a child actor was encouraged by his participation in a championship Elementary School chorus, and by his role as a tenor in several church and community choruses. In spite of excellent vocal teachers in both Edmonton and Toronto, his progress was stymied by the press of his Stenotype study and weekend employment. However, he was always a tenor soloist member of a church choir and constantly willing to perform in comedy shows, operettas, or barbershop quartets. The Remembrance Service for Wesley Coote will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 23rd in the Union Masonic Lodge No. 7, 1478 Wyoming Mill Road, Dover, DE 19904. Mr. Coote's wife of nearly 64 years predeceased him on February 11, 2005. And all of his siblings have predeceased him. He is survived by several nieces and nephews all of whom are in Canada. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to the Shriners Hospital For Children, one of his favorite charities, 3551 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19140-4131. Letters of condolence may be sent and guestbook signed at www.torbertfuneral.com

Published in the Toronto Star from Feb. 21 to Feb. 22, 2013
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