Gary Leon Coates died on Dec. 5 in Sonora.
Gary was born Oct. 24,1937, in Fairview, Utah, to Marvin and Verla (Rigby) Coates. He grew up in Mount Pleasant, Utah, enjoying his animals on the family owned farm. He was always a cowboy at heart. Gary served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Northern California Mission. In 1961 he married Carolyn (Andersen) in the Manti, Utah Temple. In 1963 they moved to Tuolumne. He worked 35 years for the Tuolumne Telephone Company as a telephone installer/repairman under the tutelage of John Wise, who was not only his boss but a good friend. After retiring from the telephone company, he spent 10 years as a bus driver in Yosemite, a job he really loved. He also loved serving others. When his sons became involved in scouting, he was recruited as a Boy Scout leader. He grew to love the Boy Scout program and served in the community and council leadership. He also had a lifetime of service in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including six-and-a-half years as bishop.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents, and by his brother, Glen Coates.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Carolyn (Andersen) Coates; his children, Darlene (Bill) Hutchins, of Tuolumne, Michael Coates, of Orem, Utah, Jeffrey (Wendy) Coates, of Farmington Hills, Michigan, and foster son, Dane (Ginny) Michals, of Riverbank; his sister, Joyce (Coates) Rigby, of Tooele, Utah; his grandchildren, Jacob (Lauren) Coates, Jade (David) Schoen, Rebecca Coates, Audrey (Jesse) Barrett, Katy Coates, Samantha Coates, Carter Coates, Devin Coates, Serina Hutchins and Wil Hutchins; and one great-granddaughter, Hazel Coates.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 18, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Hillsdale Drive in East Sonora. A viewing will be held from 9 to 9:45 a.m. at the church. Interment will be at Carters Cemetery in Tuolumne.