|Birth: ||Feb. 2, 1922|
West Virginia, USA
|Death: ||Dec. 23, 2002|
From Bill Coon:
Dad was a hard working person all his life. I have heard stories of how as a young boy, he would carry water from the spring and cut fire wood for the cook stove, when they lived at Plymouth.
He served in the Army during WWII, as a machine gunner and attained the rank of Sgt. E-5. I ask him once, where he was during the D-day invasion, he told me he was pulling KP. He said, he could hear the planes flying overhead, on their way to Normandy. He was as a 30 cal. machine gunner, it was while in France, that he was wounded by scrapnal, a ugly piece of jagged metal, that came from a exploding bomb or shell. The metal buried itself in dad's hip. Since none of his buddies would cut the burning piece of metal from him, he cut it out himself. This wound, cause pain at various times, thoughout his life. He served with the 30th. Inf. Div., and was awarded the Purple Heart and the Combat Inf. Badge.
Dad worked at several jobs during his life. After the war, he entered the coal mine at Ward, West Virginia. It was also about this same time, he married his long, love Sarah Juanita Holstein. The two families, had known each other for years and often visited. Two children were born to Bob and Junaita, William Jr.(Bill) and Mary Jane. Mary was named for her two grandmothers, May(Mary)Cook Coon and Emma Jane Canterberry Holstein Wheeler.
Around 1953 during the mechanization of the mine, dad left the mine and work at different jobs, including the West Virgina Turnpike construction. Finally he was hired at Visco plant in Nitro. It was at this time, we moved to Poca in Putnam county. Work in the plants during this time was not very steady, so after three years, dad went back to the coal mine working for R&P Coal Co. mine at Sand Fork, in Gilmer county. He worked there for approx. nine years until the coal seam began to "pinch" together, making conventional mining unprofitable.
Again, Dad found work in the mine, this time at a new Consol mine, at Robinson Run, in Harrison County. He began work here, as a mason, laying up cement block stoppings and overcast. Some of the work he did in 1977 still stands today in main entrance to this mine.
Later dad was able to bid on a job that was called
"outside carpenter". He built anything of a small nature ie: rooms or benches etc. He also did maintenance around the main buildings at Robinson Run.
I also worked the same mine, but entered at a different portal. When men found out, I was Bob Coon's son, they always had good things to say about him, whether they were company or union. Generaly, it is one way or the other, but both sides liked dad.
His favorite past time, was working with wood. Through the years, he has made cabinets or beds just by looking at a photo. He build two houses from the ground up and remodeled at least two others, one being the home he lived in for 30 years, in Carolina, West Virginia.
He was one of the finest people I have ever known. He was truly a hero from the "Greatest Generation". I am so blessed, that he was my father and my dad.
From: Mary Jane Summers,
My Father, William R Coon, was a quiet, strong man. I have never met anyone who has said, a bad word about him. And, I don't remember my dad ever saying a harsh word about another person. But, my brother Bill and I respected our dad with the utmost respect because of the man he was, and the life he lived before us.
I remember my dad, as always being a hard worker. He would rise early during the summer months, to work in the garden before in went to work, in the coal mine. When he returned in the evening, he would eat dinner with us, and immediately after dinner, he would returned to work in the garden, until dark. After he finished in the garden, or from mowing the lawn, dad ate a little snack, and read the news paper, and then retired for the night. I will never forget that one year he worked 7 days a week, without a day off from the mine, he was proud that he accomplished it.
I also remember the story my grandmother told, about my dad riding a bicycle to work, to help lay pipe line in Putman County. Dad road his bicycle, until it became so far away, that he could not make the trip to the site, work all day, and then return home before dark. When this happened, his mother made him quit his job.
I have only good memories about my father, until he was stricken with Alzheimer, about 10 years before he died. It was a terrible thing to watch this strong man become weak, but only in the mind. Even though the Alzheimer was slowly killing dad's mind, his body could not stop. If you put objects in front of him, he would take his hands and organize them in a row. He could not stop walking, and doing things to keep busy. And the thing that amazed me, was he did not forget his manners. He always opened the door for a woman, and he would say thank you, until the time came, he could not speak any more. Most of all he never lost that wonderful little smile.
When I think of my daddy and I let myself think deep thoughts about him, I want to cry. Especially, about the time, after he had Alzheimer, when he was walking through the room and I took hold of his arms and started dancing with him. Although, he was reluctant to dance he followed me, and as we were "dancing" he looked at my husband and gave a big smile, and winked at him.
I will always remember my Dad, as one of the quietest, kindest, strongest men that I will ever know. I love you daddy!
From Bill Coon-
Bob Coon--Father Extraordinaire
My dad was raised without most of the luxuries, he provided for my sister and I. While we were in school dad often worked all day in the mine laying blocks. Then he would come home, still dirty, eat and then go to his woodworking shop, making things for the mine like "man doors", in order to make extra money.
We only had one new car those years and it was a 65 VW. We used the family car to drive to school, that was so close you could have hit it with shotgun blast. I used the family car in the summer to go to camps, and hold revivals.
When we were very young, Dad would carry me out to the car and then to the Dr.'s office when I was sick. He did his best to see, that we had all the necessities and most of the things, we just wanted.
I live in the house that he and mother lived in for 30 years. I see his handy work all around. Sometimes when I use a tool for the first time in his garage, I think dad was the one that put this up last.
He was a WWII veteran and received a Purple Heart for being wounded in combat. It was a jagged piece of metal that came from a German bomb. He had to cut it out of his hip by himself. There was different times that his hip bothered him all his life.
He was part of the Greatest Generation. I believe they were forged by the depression and tempered by the war. They worked hard, didn't spend more than they had.
Many of dad's traits I see in myself from time to time, some very small, but some of his best are yet to show. I don't believe I ever heard anyone say a bad word about my dad. I still meet men from the mine that worked with him and they always speak of what a good person he was. This includes union and company, which seldom agree on anything.
If in my last years, I can only come close to the kind of man he was, maybe someday, someone will write on facebook, with the same love that I feel for dad tonight. I miss you dad and I still have questions for you.
Clarence Arnold Coon (1894 - 1954)
Mary Katherine Cook Coon (1894 - 1959)
Sarah Juanita Holstein Coon (1925 - 1987)*
George Wesley Coon*
Rose Josephine Coon Smith (1920 - 1990)*
William Robert Coon (1922 - 2002)
James B. Coon (1924 - 1998)*
Gladys R Coon Cobb (1927 - 2001)*
conbined flat, bronze plaque with Juanita and William R. Coon, including dates of birth and passing.
Note: To the far left as you drive in the cemetery. Follow the first walk way, on the left, to the end and around the statue. Then about 20 feet on the right.
Haven of Rest Memorial Gardens
West Virginia, USA
Created by: Bill Coon
Record added: Sep 08, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 76214523