Ernie Melvin Coats, 81, died May 29, 2016, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Ernie was born Jan. 28, 1935, in Meeker, Colo., the son of Milo Melvin Coats and Edna Lucille (Hart) Coats.
Ernie was graduated from Meeker High School and the Army Corps of Engineers School with highest honors.
He was a veteran of the United States Army, having served as SP3 (T) crane and shovel operator in Germany from Sept. 30, 1954, to Sept. 12, 1957. He received an honorable discharge from the Army, having received two service medals: the Army of Occupation Medal (Germany) and Good Conduct Medal. He was also a highly decorated marksman.
Ernie enjoyed antique car restoration, hunting, fishing, boating, camping, four wheeling and was a Polaris Snowmobile dealer from 1970 to 1973. He had a proud, quiet personality, a great sense of humor, an adventurous spirit and was dedicated to his family.
He was hard working and loved to help others. Known for his attention to detail and refusal to settle for less than the best he could do, Ernie was both builder and craftsman, having built and remodeled homes all over the White River Valley.
Ernie was preceded in death by: his parents, Milo Melvin Coats and Edna Lucille (Hart) Coats; a brother, Ellis Lee Coats; and two sisters, Lola Claudine Coats and Mildred Ileane (Tenny) Coats.
He is survived by: his wife of 55 years, Judy Louise (Lyen) Coats of Palisade, Colo.; two sons, William Melvin Coats of Grand Junction, Colo., and Branden Lee (Andrea) Coats of Glenwood Springs, Colo.; a daughter, Barbara Mae Abrams of Grand Junction, Colo.; two brothers, David (Cheryl) Coats of Tooele, Utah, and Daniel (Michelle) Coats of Longmont, Colo.; seven grandchildren, Bridgette, Mallory, and Shawn Coats, Lauren and Heather Abrams, and twins Adriana and Sophia Coats.
A Memorial Celebration of Life will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, 2016, at the family residence in Palisade, Colo.
In lieu of flowers, a tribute donation may be made to alz.org/donate.
Services have been entrusted to Brown’s Cremation and Funeral Service.