Russell Coats

Obituary of Russell F. Coats

The Reverend Russell F. Coats (92) of Lebanon, Ohio died September 11, 2018.  He was born on July 8, 1926, to Robert and Veva (Finkle) Coats at their farm home in rural Sterling, IL.  He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 67 years, Virginia; sons Steven and Carlos; and brothers Thomas, James, and Robert.


Rev. Coats is survived by sons Timothy Coats of Liberty Township, OH, and Rev. Paul (Gerianne) Coats of Rock Hill, SC; daughters, Robin (Mark) Coats Gauss of Springfield, IL, Susan (Brian) Buchanan of Gridley, IL, and Jennifer (Dave Snyder) Coats of Cincinnati, OH; daughter-in-law, Linda Coats of Green Bay, WI; sisters-in-law, Misako Coats of Dixon, IL, and Bernadine Coats of Sterling, IL; twelve grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and the spiritually adopted Owusu-Dekyi and Nghiem families.


After graduating from Sterling High School, Russell served in the Army for two years. He accepted a call to the ministry and attended the University of Indianapolis, graduating in 1951 with a BS in Business Education.  On April 9, 1950 he married his childhood sweetheart, Virginia Main, at their home church, East Jordan UMC. They proceeded to seminary at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH, where Russell received a Master of Divinity degree and was ordained in the Evangelical United Brethren Church (later, the United Methodist Church). In the course of 39 years of ministry he served churches in Adair, Macomb, Peoria, LaMoille, Shannon, and Freeport, Illinois, and then returned to his home church where he served for an additional 13 years in retirement.  Rev. Coats was well-loved as a father and pastor to many.


Visitation will be held on Saturday, September 15th from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon at East Jordan United Methodist Church, 22027 Polo Road, Sterling, IL.  The funeral service will begin at the church at 12:00 noon with Dr. Robin W. Lovin officiating, followed by burial in the church cemetery.


Memorial donations may be sent to the Otterbein Benevolent Care Fund, 585 N. State Route 741, Lebanon, OH 45036; or East Jordan Church, 22027 Polo Rd., Sterling, IL 61081.


Arrangements made by Oswald-Hoskins Funeral Home, Lebanon, OH and Schilling Funeral Home and Cremation, Sterling, IL.


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