Richard K. Coates

richard coates
Richard K. Coates (80) born July 19, 1939, died peacefully in his sleep October 27, 2019. Dick considered West Branch, Bay City, Mackinac Island, Michigan, as well as Marathon, Florida his home. Our Pop, grandpa, brother, uncle, and friend filled our lives with love. No one found more joy in everyday life. Dick constantly found the silver lining in every situation. He was game for fun and lived spontaneously right up to his final days. He lived large; he took risks; he lived by his own terms, and; he had few regrets. He loved his family first and never hesitated to share his pride in all of them. He treasured his Kawasaki days, his sailing crew, his deer camp, his Mackinac Island family, his Tiki Bar in Marathon, Florida, and his Bay City Moose Club buddies. He loved music and never missed an opportunity to hit the dance floor. They say a cat has nine lives, Dick lived all nine plus some. He taught all of us how to live life. Dick will be missed by many. The family would like to thank our good friends, Bill Darbee and Char Hogan for their love and constant support. Dick is survived by his two daughters, Kelly Coates (Ron Mindykowski); Kim (Brian) Beechum; grandson, Brennan Beechum (fiancée Lisa Glazier); and granddaughter, Kennedy Beechum and great-granddaughter, Bella Glazier; three sisters, Denise (Keith) Rubin; Kathy (John) Schailberger; Cheryl (Cal) Neubecker; and sister-in-law, Betty (Matt) Mier; several nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Don and Eleanor Coates and brothers, Donnie and Kenny Coates. Dick's family will be present to receive visitors on Monday, November 4, 2019 from 4:30 PM until 8:00 PM at Skorupski Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 955 N. Pine Rd., Hampton Twp. Memorial contributions may be directed to Saginaw Bay Community Sailing Association, Humane Society of Bay County, or the wishes of the family. Expressions of sympathy may be shared with the family online at

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  1. Kel & Kim and Family, So sorry to hear of your beloved Pops passing. I will forever remember his kindness, and loving ways. He was truly one of my heroes. His legacy will live on in all of you, and those that were fortunate enough to have shared time with him.
    The friendship that he and my dad forged back in the sixties, carried through til the end. I am a better man, (and Father) for having known R K Coates. I pray that the many fond memories made on the journey that was his life, help you through this difficult time. He was without a doubt one of “The Good Guys”. Godspeed Savvy, may you Rest In Peace.

  2. So very sorry for your families loss. Dick was such a heart warming and awesome human being. He will be greatly missed by the Rush crew, not only for his sailing abilities, but for his ability to keep our wives and female crew entertained with his dancing qualities.

  3. Dick will be remember by Tim and I, we meet him while we were building our Mackinac home, a loving guy with 9 lives, he was always happy to see everyone, Kelly and family, we will be thinking about you all in the upcoming weeks, Rest In Peace Dick! You will never be forgotten! Hugs to all the family! Sherri snd Tim

  4. Our condolences and prayers to family and friends. Dick was a wonderful man who lived life large.
    Clyde and Sue Dann

  5. Kelly, Kim and family,

    Dickie paved the way on how life should be lived, to the fullest. His infectious smile, love for EVERYONE and finding joy in every day have touched all who have been blessed by his presence.
    We pray for God’s peace and comfort during this difficult time.

    fair winds my friend, love you!

  6. Kelly & Kim I’m so very sorry about your Dad. You are all in my thoughts and prayers :pray: God’s Blessings Carrie McDonell

  7. Kelly, your dad was such a fun loving, caring man. I loved stopping to see him at his boat in Marathon and running in to him at the Moose Lodge. He SO loved life and lived it to the fullest. He loved you girls and spoke of you often. Family was first. You were blessed to call this man dad. Many prayers for peace during this difficult time. Love, Patti Rasmer

  8. I sailed many miles with Dickie – every inch was a pleasure. When my dad died Nel and I were standing in the vestibule of the church greeting the guests as they arrived. I was holding up well – no tears or weeping – until Dickie arrived. His eyes just welled up with tears as did mine and neither of us could speak. We hugged and shook hands silently.

    That’s the kind of man he was.

    I already miss him.

  9. Dick took me under his wing when I first started racing. I was told I would have a hard time getting on a boat because I was small and female, but he introduced me to several sailors and helped me get on a crew. We have been friends since 1981. He was a special person and I will miss him more than I can say. Fair winds, my friend.

  10. My kids and I have so many memories sailing with Dickie, Darbee and the rest of the Twisted and Plum Crazee crews. The kids loved having “Uncle Dickie” there on sailing nights and during boat work days, especially my son Ryley. Dickie would be working on the engine down below so that meant that Ryley wouldn’t get stuck sanding, he’d be called down below to hand over wrenches, sockets and pliers. Dick was always having fun and joking around, but still teaching at the same time. The kids and I learned so much from him and we’re so grateful to have been accepted into that family. Thank you for letting us be part of all the fun times, the sailing, the dances on boat night and on the island, and thanks for showing me how to swing a golf club Dickie. You will be missed beyond measure. :two_hearts::two_hearts:

  11. Dick was the first person to take me sailing in Saginaw Bay. That is something that I will always be grateful for and will never forget. Fair winds and calm seas, Dick….

  12. One of the Best Friends a guy could ever know, especially a fellow Sailor. He taught me a special lesson about life & sailing when he once told me during a sail race,as teamates, that if I ever made a mistake on that race “He’d hate me now, but LOVE me tomorrow!” We should all practice what Dick meant, to forgive and let it go. Dick loved all of us more than we will ever know. Keep smiling old friend and sail on with God’s fair winds. Gary Gaudreau

  13. Peace and Love Forever! – Your Marathon and the Bonefish Marina friends will surely miss your smiling face. Jen and I send our condolences to the entire family. Jennifer and Darrell Brand, Palm City FL

  14. Deep peace of the running wave to Dick and to all who knew and who loved him. Sailed my first Chicago- Mackinac with Dick as crew on Dictator his Elite 36 recruited by Joe SHOTWELL to fill in last minute for a regular crew who suffered a pre-race injury. As I arrived at the Chicago Yacht Club and stepped on the boat, Dick greeted me with “Joe, he ain’t got no hair”. Joe replied “Ya but he’s a sailor, to which Dick said “Welcome aboard”. Friends since 1992.

  15. What can I say, Dick was the greatest Uncle my kids could have ever had. He taught them a lot of life’s lessons. All of my kids had fun in the summer with Dick and Judy sailing. You always made me feel special. I’m going to miss you more than I can express.

  16. Kelly , I am so so sorry to hear about your father. In his obituary, he sounded like he just loved life and life loved him back. He must have been a very special father to have a kind, loving daughter as you. May his memory be eternal!!!

  17. What more can I say than what has already been said. I sailed and delivered sailboats to and from race sites in all kinds of weather with him, some time others, some times not, from water flatter than a table top to having the waves breaking over the pier as we headed out to make to do the delivery so we could make the race. Always a smile and never a cross word between us. Time at deer camp, time in Marathon, time at Mac Island, all places having a good time. A gentleman, a sailor and a friend. Fair winds and calm seas my friend.

  18. Dear Denise,Kathy,and Cheryl,I have so many good memories of going to your house in west branch.My dad getting chicken at the meat store,watermelon,at the fruit market and heading to west branch.Your mom would cook up the best chicken dinners , of course my dad and your mom and dad would have a couple of beers.(LoL}.I also remember sliding down the hill at the State Police post on Houghton.There are too many memories to mention. You have my love and condolences for your loss last brother.Linda McPhee Huggard

  19. Kelly: Sending prayers and condolences to you and all of your family on the passing of your Dad. HIs obit makes me want to hang out with him. May you all find peace and comfort knowing he lives on forever in all of your hearts and minds. God Bless.

    Paul Neumeyer

  20. Saddened to hear about his passing. I worked with him at Action Cycle Sales as an apprentice mechanic in the mid 70s. His easy smile and quick wit kept us on our toes. Dick had nicknames for people and mine was pafill, (pah-fill). I was a real rookie for sure, the Mitchell boys were still in high school, the bus business was just getting going…ah the memory days long gone by. Rest in peace :broken_heart: my friend. Phil Swartz

  21. Every time I saw Darbee and Coates together, I wondered if Abbott and Costello could have kept up with them. Dick’s sense of humor demeanor was what drew Anna and me to him to become friends. I remember Dick holding the chicken barbecues at the annual end of the season party at our house and he brought the prams from the club, car lot flags on his boat, and tuxedos at the awards banquets, and his laugh. I respect Dick most for his efforts and tenacity, along with his partners, to complete the wonderful and affordable Sunset Shores, which is the nuts and bolts of his legacy. R.I.P. Dick. Harper

  22. We “Let the Good Times Roll” my friend!
    I’ll be on the fence in the “dog leg”, cheering the “Green Ones”, & toasting you this March buddy………….:racing_motorcycle::beers::pray::skin-tone-3: D. Stein

  23. Dick could outride me up the Grand Hill , so sad to hear of his passing.
    We were good friends and a great employer at the Island Bike Shop , he took me in and gave me a place to live on a handshake.
    He took me around the Island and introduced me to the whos who , and the whos nots.
    Condolences to the familys we all lost a mans man.
    Good luck to Cubbie , at Island Electric.

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