Hailesboro - Dorothy Plank Coates, 95, passed away Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at her home where she was under the care of her family.
Calling hours are Thursday, January 30th, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. with a funeral service at 11:00 a.m. with Judy Sibley, lay minister officiating at the Green Funeral Home, Gouverneur. Private burial will be in Riverside Cemetery, Gouverneur.
She was born January 9, 1919, the daughter of Wilbur J. and Sarah Blanche Polley Plank of the Plank Road, Burrville, New York. Since her mother died at birth, she resided most of her childhood with her grandparents Anna and Frank Plank of Burrville and the city of Watertown.
Dorothy attended Wilson Hill District School on Burrville Hill, Case Jr. High, and graduated from Watertown High School in January 1936. After attending Potsdam Normal School, she started her teaching career in 1939 at Bigelow, as an upper grade teacher. After holding this position for five years, she taught seventh and eighth grades in Richville Union School for six years. The last 23 years of her teaching career were in Gouverneur Junior High School, with six years as head of the Social Studies Department. Interested in establishing student clubs, she directed and assisted in founding a local Junior High New York State Yorker Club and a Newspaper Club. She founded the first Gouverneur Junior High Honor Society, as well as ones at Ogdensburg Free Academy and Clifton Fine Junior High, Star Lake.
Dorothy received her Bachelor of Education degree from Potsdam State University in 1948, and a Master of Education degree from St. Lawrence University in 1954.
On July 23, 1941, she was married at the parsonage of the Rutland Congregational Church to Worth F. Coates, with the ceremony performed by the late Reverend Fred Thayer. Mr. Coates passed away June 8, 1997. The couple resided in Richville for 14 years before purchasing a home on Rowley Street in Gouverneur. In 1973, they moved to the home on Route 58 which Mr. Coates had built.
Membership in professional organizations included Lambda Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, an honorary international sorority of women in education, the New York State Teachers Association,
St. Lawrence Valley Council for Social Studies, and New York State Retired Teachers Association. She was also a member of the Richville Chapter #291 Order of Eastern Stars, Gouverneur United Methodist Church, and E.J. Noble Hospital Auxiliary.
An avid sports woman, she hunted and fished since the 1940’s in both Canada and the Adirondacks, taking trophies in both. An account of her moose hunting experiences is in the book, “Sporting in a Foreign Land,” authored by the late James Burnett.
She established a scholarship trust fund, in memory of her late husband, for children in the family to continue for 30 years.
Survivors include two sisters, Ann Astifan of Haymarket, VA, and Mabel Monroe of Adams; four nephews, Philip (Marie) Reed, Terry (Carolyn) Reed, Edward (Anne) Reed, all of Gouverneur, and Timothy (Vicky) Reed, Richville; and one niece, Barbara (Timothy) Hunt, Brownville; and several great nieces and nephews.
A special thank you is extended from her family to her great nephews Matthew and Clayton Reed and her caregiver Charina Tyler who enabled Dorothy to remain home with her family in her final days.
Memorials may be sent to the Burrville Congregational Church, 25200 County Route 67, Watertown, NY 13601 or Order of Eastern Star #291, Richville, New York.