Norris Eugene “Gene” Coe, 91, passed away surrounded by his family on May 5, 2022 in Fort Worth, Texas.
Service: 11:00 am, Monday, May 23, 2022 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1200 W. Green Oaks Blvd., Arlington, Texas 76013.
Committal w/ Military Honors: 3:00 pm, Monday, May 23, 2022 at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery, Dallas, Texas
He was born to A.B. & Ernestine Coe on January 15, 1931 in Imperial, Nebraska, and was raised in Newport, Arkansas. Gene graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He met his future wife, Pat Smith, at the university and they were married for 70 years.
Gene grew up in poverty and developed a very strong work ethic that lasted his entire life. He worked from the age of 6, selling newspapers for 25 cents a week, until he retired from his own company at the age of 82.
Following college graduation in 1953, Gene entered the Air Force and was stationed in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1955, he went to work for Alcoa in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. While working for Alcoa, Gene helped to develop the first aluminum pull-top cans and the individual jelly containers we see in restaurants today. In 1960, he moved his family to Salinas, California in order to work for the J.M. Smucker Company as their Western Sales Manager. In 1967, the J.M. Smucker Company moved Gene to Memphis, Tennessee to build their new factory and to become the Plant Manager. From 1978 to 1990 Gene worked for Sport Print and Steadman Corporation selling clothing. In 1990, he started his own promotional product company, the Gene Coe Company. For the next 23 years, Gene and Pat worked together in their company until they retired in 2013.
Gene was deeply loved by his family. He enjoyed spending time with them and always made them laugh with his teasing. He was a man of great faith and was very active in his church. He taught Sunday school and Bible studies for over 40 years, and led many church committees. He went on mission trips to Mexico and Russia. He was a leader in the Walk to Emmaus Ministry, Kairos Prison Ministry, and Torch Ministry for young offenders. He read weekly to inner city preschool children for 15 years. He was active in Rotary International for 40 years and had 22 years of perfect attendance.
Gene had many interests and hobbies. He liked to read and was a lifetime learner. He was a great cook and enjoyed cooking for his family. Gene loved animals, especially his dogs. He was passionate about gardening. He always had a large vegetable garden and shared his bounty with family, friends and neighbors. His flower gardens were beautiful! Photography was his other favorite hobby. He took great pictures, especially of his family and travels. For years he developed his own film in the darkroom in his garage. When he was 80 years old, he learned to use a digital camera.
He is survived by his wife, Pat Coe; his daughter, Diana (Dean) Posey; his sons, Bruce (Rhonda) Coe and Brian (Christy) Coe; grandchildren, Matt Posey, Trisha Posey, Karisa Coe, Jordan (Christian) Warren & Lexi (Brandon) Philipps; great-grandchildren, Elysa Posey, Liana Posey, and Julian Posey; and brother George (Sandra) Coe.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Forgiveness House (a halfway house for ex-offenders), 111 S. Highland #174, Memphis, TN 38111; or to the Memorial Fund at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1200 West Green Oaks Blvd, Arlington, TX 76013.