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Sandra Whitaker "Sandy" Coats '71 January 8, 2020 1:07 PM updated: January 8, 2020 1:10 PM

Laird Funeral Home obituary
2116 South St.
Nacogdoches, TX
75964, US
Phone: (936) 569-1366

Sandra Lee Coats
September 13, 1939 - January 7, 2020

Sandra Lee Whitaker Coats, 80, died January 7, 2020, in Garrison after a long illness. She was born September 13, 1939, at her home in the Nat community to O.C. “Ott” and Mattie Parmley Whitaker. (Her Aunt Leath cut her hair on the day she was born!) Sandra was the youngest and last surviving of her generation of her Whitaker relatives. She was educated at Cushing ISD schools and later at (then) Stephen F. Austin State College, where she took both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in 1959 and 1965, She completed her doctoral studies at Texas A&M University in 1971 and was only the second woman awarded a doctorate by A&M’s English Department.

On August 28, 1959, she married Jim Allen Coats, Jr., of the Pleasant Hill Community, at Nat Baptist Church. Together they raised two sons, Jim Allen Coats, III, and Sidney Mark Coats. Both had lifelong teaching careers, spending thirty years at Wharton county Junior College, Wharton TX, before retiring in 1996. Sandra also taught at schools in Central ISD, Sanderson ISD, New Caney ISD, and Blinn College, and she did adjunct teaching at SFA after retirement. She and Jim have been members of First Baptist church, Nacogdoches, for many years.

Sandra was preceded in death by her parents, by her two sister, Erlean Whitaker Irwin and Dorothy Whitaker Robinson, and by two nephews and one niece.

She is survived by devoted, beloved husband Jim, by sons Allen of the Pleasant Hill Community and Mark (Joan) of Jersey village, by granddaughters Kristina Hockaday (Zach) of Fort Worth, Lauren Coats of Houston, and Kelsey Coats of Jersey Village, and by two great-grandchildren, Olivia and Harrison Hockaday of Fort Worth. Among the nephews and niece who survive her, her eldest nephew, Mike Irwin (Sally) of Rockport TX, was particularly special to her because they were close in age and were raised like siblings.

A memorial service is scheduled for 10:00 AM on Saturday, January 11, at First Baptist Church, Nacogdoches, with visitation following the service. Interment at Nat Cemetery will be scheduled separately and will be private.

First Baptist Church Nacogdoches
Saturday, January 11, 2020
10:00 AM
411 North Street
Nacogdoches, Tx 75964

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