Eldon Leon Coy, loyal son and brother, devoted husband, loving father, grandfather, and faithful friend, died Monday, December 19, 2011, after a courageous battle with lung cancer.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, his childhood sweetheart, Jeanne (Truitt) Coy; daughter, Rebecca (Daniel) Armstrong, grandchildren, Alexander and Elizabeth Armstrong, Odessa, MO. He also leaves behind brothers, Andrew Gordon (Lenora) Coy, Yarrow, MO; Jim (Vicki) Coy, Columbia, MO; sister, Jeanie (John) Auseon, Columbus, OH; brother-in-law, John Way, Cameron, MO; nieces, nephews, an uncle, aunts, and several cousins.
Eldon was preceded in death by his parents, Dean and Arlene (Dimmitt) Coy, and sister, Janet (Coy) Way.
Eldon was a lifelong resident of Kirksville, a 1957 graduate from Kirksville Senior High School. He worked as a lineman and later communications technician for Bell Telephone and AT&T for most of his adult life. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Kirksville; longtime member and current President of the Kirksville El Kadir Shrine Club. Eldon was an outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting in northeast Missouri, Colorado and Montana. He had a passion for raising horses and cattle, motorcycling, and tending to his farm which has been in the Coy family for four generations. One of his greatest passions was service to nation and the Missouri National Guard. At the time of his retirement from the Guard, he was one of the longest-serving senior enlisted soldiers in the Missouri Guard. He retired with the rank of Command Sergeant Major. Some of his military awards include: The Legion of Merit, the Soldier’s Medal for heroism, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal and the Air Assault Badge from the 101st Airmobile Division. He was also awarded the prestigious Order of Saint Barbara, the highest honorary award that acknowledges distinguished service in the Field Artillery. After their retirement, he and Jeanne spent the winter months in Apache Junction, AZ. He always transported a horse or two with them to AZ which enabled him to ride with other horse-lovers from around the United States. Late in life, he chanced upon an old model Singer sewing machine at a garage sale. To the surprise of all who knew him, he taught himself to sew, eventually selling his adult and child-size aprons at craft shows in Apache Junction, AZ, Adair County, and Kirksville’s “Red Barn” Festival. Eldon was a vital life force to all who knew him, a hard worker and doting grandfather. He will be missed by many.
Funeral and Masonic services will be held 2:00 p.m. Thursday, December 22, 2011, at First United Methodist Church in Kirksville, with Reverend Richard Northcutt presiding. Music selections will be played by Dianthe Cable. Interment with military honors will follow the service at Park View Memorial Gardens in Kirksville.
Public visitation will be held, Thursday, December 22, 2011, from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, with family receiving friends one hour prior to service time.
Honorary pallbearers will be his nephews and his grandson: Kenny Coy, Jeff Coy, Mike Coy, Chris Coy, Tim Coy, Josh Coy, Macy Way, Alex Auseon, Andy Auseon, Anthony Auseon and Alexander Dean Armstrong (grandson).
Expressions of sympathy in memory of Eldon Coy may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Kirksville or to the Shriner’s Crippled Children’s Hospital. Memorials may be left at the First United Methodist Church or mailed to Travis-Noe Funeral Home, P.O. Box 306, Kirksville, MO 63501.