Okanagan Pioneer Rests in Peace"
John (Jack) Roper Coates (1909 - 2013) passed away peacefully on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at the Sunnybank Centre, Oliver B.C. Jack was born to Preston Charles and Edith Kate Coates in Golden, B.C., on Sunday, October 24, 1909. As a young boy, he moved with his family to Victoria and on to the Okanagan in his teens. He helped his father develop and farm his orchard before establishing his own orchard on Road 5, south of Oliver, and later a second orchard adjacent to the site of Tinhorn Vineyards. Jack was predeceased by his wife, Margaret Elsie McConnachie of Penticton in 2005. They were married in 1938 at the McConnachie homestead on upper bench road in Penticton and lived in Oliver thereafter. Early retirement years were spent on Vaseux Lake before moving into Oliver in the 80's. Jack and Margie are survived by their son, John of Vancouver; daughters, Eleanor (John) Coulthard of Galiano Island and Kathleen (Dr. Brian) Marsh of Sarnia, Ontario. Grandchildren, Jude Coates (Matt Innes), Jean Coates (Mike Ball), Kathy (Doug) Poetker, Michael (Christy) Coulthard, Rod (Titania) Marsh, Courtney (Greg) Kirby; great-grandchildren, Westley Coates-Innes, Michaela and Maile Poetker, Tyler and Jessica Coulthard, Wilde Marsh, Madison and Barrett Kirby. Jack is survived by his sister Winnifred (Ches) Rickard; predeceased by sisters, Jean (Ben) Griffin, Kathleen (Charles) Lighthall and brother, Pat (Patricia) Coates.
Jack took great pride in growing the most delicious fruit in the Okanagan during his 60 plus years as an orchardist in Oliver. He managed his father's orchard and the Old Orchard Fruit stand in the 60's plus 2 orchards of his own. Jack had a keen interest in botany and excelled in identifying indigenous shrubs and trees of the area.
Jack and Margie drove east to Ontario and Florida several times visiting with family. Later Jack cruised to Alaska and the Caribbean with his special friend, Kathie Parker.
Jack was an active member of the Masonic Lodge, a former President of the Fairview Mountain Golf Club, a founding member of The Sportsmen's Association, a member of the Amateur Radio Club and the South Okanagan Fruit Cooperative. Jack, a veteran of World War II was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Br. 97 Oliver.
Jack loved following politics and discussing the future. He was an avid hunter, fisherman, golfer, curler, and square dancer. Bridge was a lifetime hobby and he took great pride in his memory.
Cremation has taken place and a memorial service and interment will be held in Oliver in the spring. As an expression of sympathy donation to the Canadian Cancer Society, 565 West 10th Street, Vancouver, B.C. V5Z 4J4 or charity of your choice would be appreciated.
Arrangements entrusted to Graham Funeral Home, 5920 Kootenay Street, Oliver B.C. (250) 498-3833. Your message of condolence, sharing your fond memories of Jack may be sent to: www.grahamfh.com