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Name: Ernest J. Coy Jr.
Spouse: Connie Strader Coy
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Class of

1968 Attended from through

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Birthdate: April 11, 1950   
Date of Death: March 12, 2014  

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Through the life of Ernest Coy, Jr., we can learn that true happiness is not found in what we have, rather, it is in the moments we have to savor with the ones we love that we are richly blessed. He accomplished great things of which to be proud, but he was a humble man who took great pride in giving back to the people around him. A devoted husband and father, Ernie was filled with great joy to witness his family tree blossom to include the children and grandchildren he adored. He was the life of the party wherever he went and always game for having a good time. With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around him, Ernie created a beautifully colored mosaic of memories that will be a lasting treasure for years to come.

With the end of WWII in 1945, America was making the shift from being a nation at war to being a nation at peace once again. The baby boom was underway, which caused an explosion in new home construction, while rationing had become a distant memory. The colorful decade of the 1950s brought us numerous noteworthy events such as the introduction of rock 'n roll, increased momentum in civil rights when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on an Alabama bus, and the addition of Alaska and Hawaii as our 49th and 50th states. It was just as the sun was dawning on the 1950s that Ernest Jay, Sr. and Ruth Maxine (Gaff) Coy were pleased to announce the birth of their son, Ernest Jay, Jr., on April 11, 1950, in Wolf Lake, Indiana. He was one of four children in his family, joined by his sisters, Rebecca, Tanya, and Betty.

Ernie was raised in the family homes in the Columbia City and Tri Lakes areas where he experienced a typical upbringing for the youth of his generation. He was a bustle of activity and enjoyed archery, fishing, playing baseball, and was a Boy Scout. Ernie attended local schools including Columbia City Joint High School where he did the shot-put on the track team. He also played on their football team that went undefeated in 1966. Ernie went on to graduate with the class of 1968, and from there he went on to earn his associate's degree from IPFW and a bachelor's degree from Goshen College.

Life was forever changed for Ernie when he was introduced to the young girl who stole his heart. Her name was Connie Strader, and they were set up on a double date on April 12, 1969. It was sort of like a blind date, although she had an idea of who he was through a mutual friend. Sparks flew right from the start, and the rest is history as they say. Just a short time later, the sweethearts were married on December 20th of the same year at Grace Lutheran Church in Columbia City by the Rev. Graham L. Kleespie. Together Ernie and Connie welcomed two children into their hearts and home: Jay and Vanessa.

To support his family, Ernie worked hard in a variety of industries. He spent 18 years working for Fruehauf Trucking and then worked briefly at Stanadyne in Auburn before settling into orthopedics at Othy in Warsaw where he handled quality control. Finally, Ernie began working for Biomet on October 1, 1990, where he became an engineer and a manager.

Although work was an important part of his life, Ernie loved spending time with his family. Countless memories were made at the lake, and the family also spent many of their vacations camping. For a time the Coys had a permanent campsite at Hogback Lake in Indiana during the nineties, and although his kids were less than thrilled with going there at the time they are now thankful to have shared this time together. For the past 17 years Ernie and his wife have lived at Lake Tippecanoe.

As a young newlywed Ernie started playing softball with his friends, and the sport came to keep him very busy as he not only played, but he also coached and umpired as well. For a time Ernie even ran the umpiring program at Morsches Park. At one time he was a regional commissioner for the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) for Umpires. Ernie coached both of his children's t-ball, baseball, and softball teams. When his son, Jay, was on a t-ball team that had ratty, well-worn shirts, he went out and bought all the kids new shirts. It is putting it mildly to say that it was less than a good year for the team, but Ernie went and bought all the players on the team medals in recognition of sticking together and not giving up.

In addition to being involved in various aspects of softball, Ernie had other interests as well. He was a member of the Sons of the American Legion in Columbia City and a Master Mason of Garrett City Lodge #537 F&AM. In addition, Ernie had attended Calvary Methodist Church in Syracuse. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and golfing, and he helped organize the Biomet Golf Outings. Ernie was an Indiana University basketball fan as well as a Peyton Manning fan.

With unending devotion to his family, Ernest Coy, Jr., made a significant impact in the lives of those around him. He was the ultimate jokester and prankster who was so much fun to be around. Although Ernie could be stubborn at times, it was only because he was passionate about things, too. He will be missed for his laughter and his zest for life, but most of all he will be missed for his unconditional love.

Ernest Jay Coy Jr, of Leesburg, IN, died at 9:55 a.m. on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, at his home on Tippecanoe Lake. Ernie's family includes his wife, Connie S. Coy; son, Jay Coy of Noblesville; daughter, Vanessa Coy-Holloway of Leesburg; sisters, Tanya (Steven) Christman of Ft. Wayne and Betty (Steven) Wilkinson of Columbia City; grandchildren, Addie, Brian, Ian, Regan, Andrew, and Ryan; and his two pugs, Waldy and Izzy. Ernie was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Rebecca Beatty; and brother-in-law, Harry Beatty.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, March 16, 2014, from 2-5 p.m. at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. A Masonic Service will begin at 5 p.m. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Monday, March 17, 2014, at the funeral home with visitation one hour prior. Rev. David Herr will be officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Grove (Compton) Cemetery, Columbia City. Memorial donations can be made in Mr. Coy's honor to the donor's choice.
Last Updated: 03-14-2014 Alumni ID: 15110
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2005 Columbia City High School Alumni Association     This page last modified 09/27/2006