Duane Merideth Coates of Kamiah passed away May 14, 2020 at 81 years of age. Born in Bloomington, Ill., Duane moved with his parents to San Diego, Calif. when he was a boy. He had no siblings.
He married his wife Cheryl Aug. 14, 1966 and the union lasted 53 years until his death. They had two sons, Bradley and Eric.
Duane loved camping and fishing, and often went backpacking with his sons and their Boy Scout troop, and served as a troop leader. He was very proud that both boys made the rank of Eagle Scout.
When young, Duane began his work life at Campbell Marine in San Diego, cleaning out huge shipping tanks. Many years were spent as a carpenter framing houses. More years were spent as a postal clerk for the USPS, “tossing” mail in Stockton, Calif. Using flash cards, he memorized zip codes for the whole country to improve his speed. During the war in Vietnam he worked for a contractor packing and shipping huge quantities of supplies overseas for the military. This was the first war to be so closely reported and broadcast on TV, almost like today’s “reality shows.” His young sons watched the TV reports avidly, having a vested interest because their dad shipped supplies over to help the troops. Later, Duane worked for a company that manufactured doors.
In retirement, after inheriting a house in Kamiah, Duane and Cheryl moved from Vista, Calif. to this cozy, small town nestled in the Clearwater River valley surrounded by hills rising up to forested mountains.
A good, honest man, Duane structured his life to be a good example for his sons, and to be a good husband. After years of battling COPD, his lungs lost the war.
Duane was preceded in death by his parents, Alva and Hester Coates; a son, Eric Coates; and his brother-in-law, Ronald Reimers.
Duane is survived by his wife, Cheryl; a son, Bradley; Eric’s two sons, Tyler and Lucas, and Eric’s two step-children, Kyle and Cayla Johnson; sister-in-law Charlet Bertsch; three nieces, two nephews and their children.
Burial will be in Kamiah Cemetery, with his son Eric’s ashes laid to rest with him. There will be no services.