Individual's List

Associated Families

Kathryn "Kitty" Green was born 24 August 1903 in Crawford County, IA, and died October 1987 at Mitchell, Davison, SD.   She is buried in the Platte City Cemetery, Platte, SD (Find A Grave Memorial# 80200055).  She married Leonard Hetler Coates on 24 Jul 1920 in Lake Andes, Charles Mix, SD.  Leonard was born 21 July 1897  in Charles Mix Co., SD,  and died 29 October 1973 at Platte, Charles Mix, SD. His parents were Josiah Giffin Coates and Georgia Heaton. Leonard is buried with his wife in Platte City Cemetery (Find A Grave Memorial# 80199974).

The children of Kathryn and Leonard Coates are:

1.  Gailen Coates married  23 Jan 1943 in Kansas City, Jackson, MO, to Gelene Lucille Johnson (b: 21 Dec 1918 in Geddes, Charles Mix, SD, d: 19 Aug 2012 in Firesteel Healthcare Center, Mitchell, Davison, SD, buried:  Graceland Cemetery, Mitchell, Davison, SD.  Find A Grave Memorial# 96052187), daughter of Harry L. Johnson and Bertie Olafson.  They had no children.

2.  Keith J. Coates, b: 29 Apr 1928 at Platte, Charles Mix, SD, d: 7 Dec 2013 at Clarkson Health Care facility, Rapid City, Pennington, SD, buried Black Hills National Cemetery (Find A Grave Memorial# 121458961).  He married Charlene Vander Pol.  They had three children: 

1.   Michael Coates

2.  Kerry Coates  married Peggy Ehlers on 20 Jun 1973 in Pennington Co., SD.

3.   Kip Coates married Mary.

Obituary from Kirk Funeral Home:

Keith J. Coates, April 29, 1928 - December 7, 2013

-Rapid City, SD

Keith J. Coates passed away peacefully with his children and grandchildren by his side on Saturday morning, December 7, 2013 at the Clarkson Health Care facility in Rapid City.

Keith was born to “Kitty” and Leonard Coates on April 29th, 1928. He was born and grew up in his beloved Platte, South Dakota where he was well known for his exploits in baseball, basketball and football. He graduated from Platte High School in 1946.

He attended South Dakota State University for two years, took a year off to teach junior high in Platte, and then returned to SDSU, completing his education in 1951. Following a four-year stint in the Navy, he taught at Corsica High School for a year and then Platte for five years.

After completing his Master’s Degree in 1961, he took his first administration job in Provo, SD for three years before moving to Rapid City in 1964. After a year of selling insurance he returned to education as the Athletic Director of Douglas High School, which was followed by five years as the principal of North Junior High, two years at South Junior High and ultimately, his dream job as principal of Central High School. After following a self-imposed limitation of staying at a school for no more than five years, he spent 18 years at the helm of Central High School as he felt that any other job in education was a demotion. He was a much admired principal by staff and students alike and was a constant presence at nearly every activity occurring at Central High School during and following his time as principal. Perhaps his favorite greeting in the world started with “oh, you were my principal at…” No one ever embodied the idea of “Once a Cobbler, always a Cobbler” more than Mr. Coates.

Upon retirement, he continued his full-time job as “Grandad” to not only his own seven grandchildren but to countless numbers of the grandchildren’s teammates. He and wife Charollene logged thousands of miles (and went through three vans) attending graduations, athletic contests, musical performances and plays. No one ever enjoyed his/her grandchildren more than Mr. Coates.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Charollene of Rapid City; brother Gailen Coates of Mitchell; sons Mike of Fargo, ND, Kerry (Peggy) and Kip (Mary) both of Rapid City. He has seven grandchildren: granddaughters Stacey (Andy) Currie, Kristi (Lance) Roetman, and Lindsay Boyd and grandsons Kelly, Casey, Riley, and Keith Coates. He also has four great-grandchildren: Kaden & Kaci Currie and Kylar & Keelie Roetman.

Visitation will be at Kirk Funeral Home in Rapid City on Tues., Dec. 10 from 5pm to 7pm, and then at the church for one hour before services on Wednesday.

Services are set for 11am Wed., Dec. 11, 2013 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Rapid City with the Rev. Bob Jacobs officiating. A reception and luncheon will follow at the church. Interment with honors by VFW Post 1273 & SD Army National Guard will be at 2pm on Wednesday at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.

A memorial has been established to the Keith J. Coates College Scholarship and to Westminster Presbyterian Church. Friends may sign Keith’s online guestbook at www.kirkfuneralhome.com.




As a youngster, Kitty must have been a bit innovative and quite a bit agile.  One time she was in trouble with her mom, Emma, who had promised her a switching.

To avoid this, Kitty hurried off and climbed to the roof of the granary.  Emma, not to be deprived of disciplining her child, kept running around the granary with the switch in order to keep Kitty trapped on the roof.  Of course, the neighbors would drive up about then!.