Janice B. Coates
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Janice B. Coates
  • March 1, 1927 - August 20, 2017
  • Keene, New Hampshire

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Surrounded in love and with her family by her side, Janice Baird Coates was called to the Lord on Sunday August 20, 2017 at the age of 90.

Janice's parents, Clyde L. and Irene A. (Child) Baird were blessed to welcome Janice into the world on March 1, 1927 in Waitsfield, Vermont, and she spent her childhood in Moretown, Vermont.

She was a gifted vocalist and pianist for her church as well as an active member of the youth ministry. Together with her two sisters, she sang as an acapella trio for weddings and church related functions throughout the State of Vermont. Upon graduation from Moretown schools, she attended Montpelier High School where she was her class Vice President as well as President of the Girls Athletic Association. After earning an academic scholarship to the University of Vermont, she found her true professional calling as an elementary school teacher. While at UVM, she was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority. Her first teaching position was in Waterbury, VT.

On December 26, 1950, she married the love of her life, Robert C. Coates, in Montpelier, Vermont surrounded by their family and friends. Together they celebrated twenty-one wonderful years of marriage before he was taken from this earth in 1972. The depth and significance of their love was paramount in her heart for the rest of her life. For the next 45 years, Janice raised her six children alone, helping them to obtain their college degrees. .

Relocating to Keene, NH in 1953, their focus was on their devotion to their growing family and their community. Along with raising six children, Janice created time to help enrich her children's school by becoming an active member of the PTO. With her passionate belief in the values of scouting Janice served as a Girl Scout leader for 12 years.

Janice returned to teaching second grade in 1970, first at Marlborough Elementary School and then at Symonds School in Keene where she taught for twenty four years. She was an exceptionally dedicated, caring and inspiring teacher. She truly believed in the potential of each of her students who left her classroom each day knowing that she was not only their teacher but more importantly their friend and advocate.

Janice retired from teaching and began her second career working at the Keene Clinic and the Keene City Clerk's office. At the City Clerk's office, she found wonderful colleagues who embraced her everyday with their warmth, caring hearts and unending love. Upon her second retirement at the age of 84, she volunteered at the Keene Public Library, the City Clerk's office, Red Cross, Cheshire Medical Center, and the St. Vincent DePaul Society and Food Pantry of St Bernard's Church as well as participating in the society for retired teachers, Delta Kappa Gamma and the Keene Chorale.

Most importantly, Janice was an exceptional wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother to her large and loving family. Her quiet wisdom, selflessness, unconditional love and gentle soul will be held in their hearts forever.

Janice will be greatly missed by many, especially by her six children, Deborah Morin and husband Robert, Cynthia Chipman and husband Richard, Susan Hunt and husband Gregory, Robert B. Coates and wife Philippa, Christopher Coates and wife Cari, and Elizabeth Seaver and husband Kevin. She also leaves behind 17 grandchildren, Kyle and Libby Morin, Brent Morin, Hillary Morin, Kelley Chipman, Patrick and Jackie Chipman, Caitlin Chipman, Conor Chipman, Trevor Hunt, Kaleigh Hunt, McKenzie Hunt, Claire Coates, Will Coates, Ian Coates, Alexandria Coates and her fiancé David Chakola, Brandon Seaver, Chad Seaver, and Tyler Seaver, as well as her great granddaughter Sage Morin. In addition she is survived by her sister Eleanor White of Barre, VT, her brother-in-law Joseph and wife Louise, of Barre, VT, her best childhood friend Lois Tierney of Hampton, NH, and most important of all her beloved cousin Pauline Coates of Williston VT, and her family.

A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Saturday, August 26th at 11:00AM in St. Bernard Church 185 Main Street, Keene. Burial in the St. Joseph Cemetery, Keene, will be private. Family and friends are invited to call on Friday evening from 5:00 to 7:00PM at the Foley Funeral Home, 49 Court Street, Keene.

In lieu of flowers, for those who wish donations may be made in Mrs. Coates' memory to St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry, c/o Parish of the Holy Spirit, 161 Main Street, Keene, NH 03431.