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Dolores Nancy Coe

September 28, 1929 — January 6, 2023

Davenport, Lake Zurich

Dolores Nancy Coe, age 93, passed quietly into the presence of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Friday, January 6, 2023, surrounded by her loving family.

She was born on September 28, 1929, in Baroda, Michigan, the daughter of the late Harold and Josephine (Lake) Livengood.  Dolores grew up in Bridgman, the oldest of five children.  She was energetic and resourceful working with her family in the fields, canning, sewing, baking pies for the fair, waitressing, and playing piano in a jazz band.  One of her proudest moments as a senior in high school was being named Cherry Pie Queen of Berrien County.

In December 1948, she married her high school sweetheart, David Burwell.  They left immediately for Biloxi, Mississippi, where Dave would be trained as a pilot in the Air Force.  Dolores quickly found herself being groomed as an officer’s wife and later pregnant with her first child, Nancy. In September 1950, Dave was killed in action flying surveillance over the 38th parallel in Korea leaving her widowed with a newborn child.  But God had a plan for her and little Nancy.  While waiting in the Air Force recruiting line, Dave had met a young man from Big Rapids whose name was Vernon Coe.  He, Dolores, and Vern became fast friends while serving in the Air Force.  Due to the high risk as a pilot in the war, Dave asked Vern to “take care of Dolores” should he lose his life in action.  Vern honored that request, and the rest is history. Dolores always said she was “twice blessed” with the love of two devoted and godly men.

She married Vernon Coe on August 5, 1952, in Bridgman.  Later, they moved to Big Rapids where they raised their three children, Nancy, Forrest and Carrie in a committed Christian home.  Dolores was a long-time resident of Big Rapids, until moving to Rodney in 1977 where she lived until the death of her husband, Vern, in March 2020.  She then relocated to Lakemoor, Illinois, to live with her daughter and son-in-law.

She worked as a bank teller at First National Bank, then a branch manager at Mutual Savings and Loan until she retired.  In retirement, Dolores and Vern enjoyed traveling the country in their camper, but their most memorable years were spent as missionaries with JAARS (Jungle Aviation and Radio Service) and Wycliffe Bible Translators in Waxhaw, North Carolina.  There, she worked in the accounting department while Vern designed and built computer desks and cabinets for the missionaries.

Dolores was a wonderfully gifted musician and shared her love of playing the piano and organ at church as well as for special events throughout most of her life.  She was lovingly called “Mrs. Music” and was devoted to teaching and bringing joy to others through playing piano at events like patriotic parades, hymn sings and weddings.

She was a long-time member of the First Baptist Church in Big Rapids and later Charity Baptist Church in Paris (MI), serving in the music ministry and also teaching Sunday school.  She and Vern took their faith seriously and every morning had their devotions and prayed together at the breakfast table.  Upon her move to Illinois, she readily became a member of The Orchard Arlington Heights, eager to take part in the music and worship.

Hospitality was also Dolores’ gift.  She warmly welcomed guests in her home where they would always find an assortment of treats including homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, ginger snaps, applesauce, or a freshly baked peach pie.

Dolores was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and devoted friend.  Her giving spirit, beautiful smile and love for others will be greatly missed by all who knew her.  She is survived by her two children: Forrest (Marilyn) Coe of Fox River Grove, Illinois, and Carrie (Dennis) Zandi of Lakemoor, Illinois; son-in-law, Larry (Glenda) Whitesell of Tipton, Indiana; seven grandchildren:  Jennifer, Warren, Maureen, Amy, Julie, Michelle, and Kathryn; 22 great-grandchildren; one great-great grandchild; many nieces and nephews; and sister-in-law Lorraine Livengood of Sawyer, MI.

Dolores was preceded in death by her parents; Vernon Coe husband of 67 years; daughter, Nancy (Larry) Whitesell; three brothers: Walter (Lorraine) Livengood, Dallas (Dorothy) Livengood, Joseph (Darlene) Livengood; and one sister, Genevieve (Duane) Wymer.

Services will be held in Illinois and Michigan in April 2023 (details to follow).  Dolores will be laid to rest alongside her husband Vernon at Altona Cemetery in Lakeview, Michigan in the spring.

The family would like to express heartfelt gratitude to the staff at JourneyCare Hospice in Barrington, IL for their exceptional loving care.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Dolores’ name to:  The Hope Foundation, JourneyCare-Barrington, 405 N Lake Zurich Rd, Barrington, IL 60010, or JAARS, PO Box 248, Waxhaw, NC 28173.

Arrangements and care are entrusted to the Davenport Family Funeral Home in Lake Zurich.  Share a memory or leave a condolence for the family by clicking the guestbook tab at https://www.davenportfamily.com/obituary/Dolores-Coe

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