September 16, 1932 – March 6, 2018
Bill Coe, Dad, Grandpa Coe, PaPa Bill, Gramps, was born Billy Franklin Coe to his parents Azzie and Vestal Coe in Washita County, OK, just outside Carnegie, OK on September 16, 1932. He worked on the farm with his dad and siblings while also attending Hopewell County School then later Eakly High School where he graduated in 1951. He went on to study Agribusiness including botany, entomology, and soil conservation at Oklahoma State University. After completing 2 years at Stillwater, he attended another semester at Southwestern Oklahoma State in Weatherford. He met his wife, Gweneth Ann Whitley of Alfalfa in 1950 and soon after they married in November 20, 1953. Bill and Gwen settled on a farm near Eakly, OK and soon had 2 kids, Jan and Brad, then a few years later came 2 more kids, Bart and Launa. They raised their children in the Methodist Church in Eakly, then later in Hydro. Bill loved singing in the choir and serving on the church board. His favorite hymns were the ones that had a really good bass line for the men. Bill, Gwen and the kids farmed together for over 6 decades on farms all over Caddo County including crops of cotton, wheat, and soybeans, but Bill was primarily a peanut farmer. He studied and researched each year’s peanut crop in order to coax the best possible yield out of the ground each year. He was in fact recognized as having one of the top ten highest yielding crops in 1983. Having lived in and near Caddo County his entire life, Bill was quite the historian when it came to the land and families who farmed there. If you ever had the pleasure of riding down any Caddo County road with him you were probably privy to one of his history lessons. Pointing out the window he’d tell you who farmed this section, who farmed that one, which crop did well there, which ones didn’t, from when to when this family lived there, who lives there now, and if the old house/homestead is still standing. Bill could tell you how the land has been changed over the years by man, wind, or water for decades back, including the time his father was alive. It was remarkable. Bill loved few things more than the land he farmed but it could be argued basketball was near the top of his list. His passion for history bled into the sport as well. He knew who coached what team and where, his opinion of how good they were, and whether or not said coach had gotten “the most out of the kids.” This was true for high school or college, at least in Oklahoma and the Big 12 Conference. He would often recall his favorite players, get all excited, clap his hands together and laugh at a remarkable talent or lack thereof. One conversation Bill had recently with family was about his loathing of Western Virginia coach Bob Huggins, and how Bruce Webber of Kansas State makes him laugh when he “goes to bouncing up and down.” Bill also loved watching his kids, grandkids, and great grandkids play any and all sports. When the little ones would come out to visit on the farm, he took the time to share another of his great loves with them…his antique tractors. His favorites were one color…GREEN! He got so much joy finding these little pieces of history all over the country, hauling them home, fixing them up and sharing them with anyone who would listen. I think every grand and great grand kid has had a ride or at least offered a ride on one of his beloved tractors. He was passionate about preserving the history lived and life lessons learned on these green machines. Many others around Caddo County and beyond got to see him in action on his tractors during many tractor pulls. He was never so proud as when he’d put these machines to task pulling that sled down the track. Bill would haul his tractors all over Oklahoma to showcase his collection in tractor pulls. And he acquired quite a trophy collection to prove he was really pretty good at it! Bill, Gwen, and the family organized and ran tractor pulls for several years at the Hydro Free Fair each fall and he was always happy to do it. Bill often shared his farming knowledge and experience with many in the peanut community. Whether on the front porch over coffee, at the Co-op, serving on the governor appointed OK Peanut Commission, or on the National Peanut Administration Council, he truly enjoyed teaching what he had seen and learned. In fact, anyone who has traded a little time with Bill can tell you he loved to tell a good story but equally loved to hear a good one, as well.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Azzie and Vestal Coe of Eakly, OK; his older brother Wayne Coe of Hydro, OK; his older sister, Jo Leta Tilley of Oklahoma City; his brother-in-law Lester Clear of Eakly, and younger brother, Dean Coe of Tulsa.
He is survived by his older sister Lois Clear of Eakly; his wife of 65 years, Gwen Coe of Hydro, OK; daughter Jan Gregory and husband Larry of Anadarko, OK; son Brad Coe and wife Barbara of El Reno, OK; son Bart Coe and wife Sandy of Hydro, OK; daughter Launa Bouseman and husband Andy of Dallas, TX. Bill leaves behind his legacy with 9 grandkids, Shea LaPointe, Shane Coe and wife, Denise, Tyler Smith and wife Angela, Tessa Hogg and husband Boone, Ethan Coe and wife Kristin, Whitley Coe, Zach Bouseman and wife Cheyenne, Ryan Bouseman and Elizabeth Bouseman; and 9 great grandkids Maddie, Trenton, Dillyn, Cooper, Riley, Blaer, Ryder, Spencer, and Weston as well as many other friends and family.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Corn Heritage Center or the Eakly Methodist Church.
Bill’s services will be in Eakly Methodist Church 2:00PM Thursday March 8th, and he will be laid to rest in the Eakly Cemetery.
Family Visitation: Hinton Turner Funeral Home, 4:00-6:00 PM, March 7, 2018, Hinton, OK
Services entrusted to Turner Funeral Home, Hinton, Oklahoma. Condolences may be sent to the family at firstname.lastname@example.org, turnerfh.net, or you can find us on facebook.com (Turner Funeral Homes).