Reatha Coats died July 15, 2015 in The Dalles. She was born in Portland in 1922 to Carroll and Helen (Whalley) Sayrs. She grew up on the Sayrs farm west of Moro on land homesteaded by her grandfather in 1883. Reatha attended Moro grade school and high school with her older brother Frank, often riding to and from school on horseback or in a horse drawn buggy. Reatha then attended San Jose State College for two years, receiving an associate degree in marketing. She met Chester C. Coats of Rufus, and they were married in 1942 in Chicago where Chet was stationed. Chet was deployed to the South Pacific while she was pregnant with their first child, Tom, who was born in December 1943. Reatha and the baby first stayed with her parents, then moved into the Moro Hotel when Reatha took a job in the Extension Office at the Courthouse. Chet came home in the fall of 1945 and started farming with his father on land east of Wasco where Chet and Reatha established their home. Babies Mary, Pat, Don and Margie were added to the family over the next few years. The family moved into Wasco in 1962 where they lived until 2005 when Chet and Reatha moved to assisted living in The Dalles.
Reatha was a good cook, a very good seamstress, and an excellent spouse, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She taught Sunday School at the Wasco United Methodist Church for many years, taught 4-H sewing to many, always knew the birthdays and anniversaries of her extended family, set a good example for all, and was a force to be reckoned with in the Scrabble wars. She leaves behind her children, Tom Coats (Karen), Mary Macnab (Bo), Pat Jacobsen (Erling), Don Coats (Brenda) and Margie Stovall (Eric). Her grandchildren are John Coats, Meghan McAllister, Jami Moy, Ryan LeBreton, Chris Conlee, Jill Harrison, Paula Costanzo, Callie Macnab, Piper Stewart, Sol Jacobsen, Sarah Carrato, Graham Coats, Mason Coats, Vanessa Coats, Brandon Ferguson, Cameron Ferguson, Lael Mether, Riley Stovall, and Emily Stovall. Reatha had 15 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her brother Frank, husband Chet, and grandson Jesse Stovall.
There will be a Celebration of Life at the Wasco United Methodist Church in Wasco, 1 p.m. Monday, July 27, 2015, with refreshments to follow.
The family expresses its profound thanks to the staff at the Oregon Veterans Home in The Dalles for their excellent care of Reatha at the end of her life. Their kindness and caring made a difficult time less so, as did support from Heart of Hospice and their fine crew.
Memorials may be made to the Wasco United Methodist Church, Sherman County Historical Society, or Heart of Hospice.
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