Celebration of Life
Saturday, May 21, 2022
4:00 PM to 6:00 PM EDT
Cross Community Church of the Nazarene
5625 Oakland Dr
Portage, MI 49024
Life Story / Obituary
He was big-hearted, hard-working, and resilient. Jack Coe lived a life rich in family and friends. With incredible resourcefulness and determination, Jack was tenacious in the face of any obstacle. When he set his mind to something and committed to a job, he ensured it was done with perfection. Jack possessed an unwavering devotion to those he loved, and regardless of life's challenges, he always found a way to come through. Though independent in spirit, he was quick to give of himself in service to others, even those who may not have deserved his generosity. Jack was a dedicated father, grandfather, and friend. He will long be remembered and very much missed.
1963 was a year of many changes. As the Civil Rights movement gathered momentum, the nation continued to invest in its goal of putting a man on the moon. American homes were filled with the sounds of the Beatles and the sense of loyalty inspired by its favorite dog, Lassie. Yet, nowhere was there more hope for the future than in Comstock, Michigan, as the Coe family welcomed its newest member, Jack, on August 10. Growing up in West Michigan during the 60s and 70s, Jack's early years provided the firm foundation for the rest of his life. He believed in doing things right, the importance of keeping his word, and giving all he could to ensure others were well cared for. He tried to be a friend to all and was very quick to defend those he loved.
During his 20s and 30s, Jack loved riding horses, particularly Arabian horses. Over the years, he owned a few horses and always spoke with reverence for their companionship. He loved being outdoors. Whether fishing, hunting, or 4-wheeling, he welcomed the sense of calm that being outside inspired. Getting up at 3 AM to go hunting or out on the Manistee River in his jet boat was never a hardship. Being on the water was incredibly calming and one of his great joys. He also enjoyed collecting cars and restoring them. Jack also spent much of his time doing beagle training and field trialing them. Sometimes he would take Haley out of school to attend the dog trials in other states and Jackie out of school to travel to the best bowhunting and upland bird spots adding adventure to their lives. He believed his dogs were well-equipped tools to help with his hunting.
Though Jack had a few great loves in life and the mothers of his children, he concluded that he was meant to be a forever bachelor. Over time, he settled down and opened his life to his family. Jack relished being a father and sharing his passions with his kids. He doted on his girls, making sure their needs were met. He taught them good morals and showed them that getting dirt under your nails was okay and often fun. By the time the girls had their fourth birthdays, Jack had immersed them into power sports. He loved teaching them how to ride quads and dirt bikes. Fishing was always a great time spent together and hunting seasons seemed to span the whole year. Once, he took his boat and daughter to the river to fish. When the boat refused to start, he used his natural mechanical mindset, the few tools he had in the boat, and determination to fix it. Within 20 minutes, they were back on the water. Jackie and Haley have fond memories of him waking them up with blaring music and breakfast. Sometimes the music was self-made by banging on pans and singing a song he made up. Then, once the girls became adults and were out on their own, Jack would call them at the oddest hours, just to talk. He even called them within minutes of leaving their homes.
Jack's first job was painting cars and expanded to painting semis and airplanes. When he was 25 he was working for a local plumbing company learning the trade. Once he became a father, he started his own plumbing business. Jack’s customers and clients revered his attention to detail, honesty, and affordability. He enjoyed teaching people how to be independent. He generously shared his business sense with his kids and helped them to become successful in their own careers.
First in line to defend his family, Jack was fiercely supportive of his loved ones. He always talked about how to treat a woman right and made sure his daughters were treated well. He embodied his values at every turn. He greeted every person as a friend and was a man of his word. Without a doubt, Jack's greatest joy was spending time with his family and friends. He especially enjoyed sharing his property in Blanchard, which had been in the family for many generations. Blanchard was where Jack gathered his loved ones and where they all enjoyed the time and space to be wild, free, and playful.
Though our days with him were far too few, the impact of his life will long live in our hearts and lives. We will cherish our many treasured memories and find comfort in carrying his legacy forward. In each moment that we follow our truth, cast our lines, follow a deer trail, give our hearts, cheer on our loved ones' endeavors, lend our talents, and share our knowledge, we celebrate the many ways Jack gifted us. In this way, we will keep his memory alive and inspire others as he so inspired us.
Jack Coe, of Otsego, age 58, died on April 29, 2022. Jack was preceded in death by his dad, Lorenzo; sister, Carla; step-dad, Bob Waldron; son-in-law, Christopher Neal. Surviving are his daughters: Jackie (Ian) Dalrymple and Haley Neal; grandchildren: Ryleigh, Charolette, and C.J.; his mother, Sally Waldron; and his lifelong best friend and fishing buddy, Greg Darling. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, May 21st from 4-6 PM at Cross Community Church of the Nazarene, 5625 Oakland Dr., Portage. Visit Jack’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories and photos, and sign his guestbook. Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 269-375-2900.