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Bernadine  A.  Coats

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Bernadine A. Coats, age 88 of Sterling, Illinois, passed away peacefully Wednesday, September 4, 2019 at Rock River Hospice. Bernadine was born on December 13, 1930 in Metamora, Illinois to Henry A. and Lillian A. (Elbert) Waldschmidt. She married Robert I. Coats on August 25, 1951. He preceded her in death on December 22, 2013.

She was a devoted Air Force wife, as Bob served in the U.S.A.F. for 27 years. His career stationed the family across the U.S. as well as France, Korea, and Turkey. She met the challenges of raising their boys overseas. On multiple occasions, she managed the family on her own while Bob was stationed remotely. Bernadine was a Den Mother, PTA Leader, Catechism Teacher, Seamstress – an involved mother who made a home of wherever the family was based.

When Bob retired in 1980, they returned to Sterling. Bernadine worked as a part-time bookkeeper for Lundstrom Florist for 25 years. She enjoyed caring for houseplants, especially her ferns and her ficus tree, which she kept for over 40 years. Her ficus tree will continue to live at her last residence, Morningside of Sterling. She loved to bake, supplying her family and friends with Christmas cookies and candies every year. She was an active member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, singing in the choir and serving as a liturgist. She produced "The Waldschmidt Notebook," a monthly newsletter that helped keep her large extended family close. She loved to travel to St. Louis to attend her granddaughters' events.

Survivors include two sons, Benjamin A. Coats (Debby Treadwell) of Antioch, IL and Bradley A. (Debbie) Coats of Florissant, MO; two granddaughters, Sarah (Kyle) Jeffery of Affton, MO and Katie (Rich Brown) Coats of Indianapolis, IN; sisters: Geraldine Wike of Sterling, Phyllis Conklin of Rock Falls, IL, Betty (Hugh) Miller of Rock Falls, and Gloria (Dave) Sproul of Sterling; brothers: Richard (Erless) Waldschmidt of Falls Church, VA, and Henry (Marty) Waldschmidt of Sterling.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, sister Theoclete Wolf and brothers Harvey, Francis, and Donald Waldschmidt.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday September 11 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm with the Rosary being recited at 3:30 pm at the McDonald Funeral Home, 505 1st Avenue in Sterling. Celebration of the Mass of Christian Burial will follow on Thursday September 12 at 11:00 am at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Sterling, with the Reverend Paul White officiating. Burial will follow at East Jordan United Methodist Church, 22027 Polo Rd., Sterling.

Memorial donations may be sent to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 2224 Ave J, Sterling, IL 61081; East Jordan Church, 22027 Polo Rd., Sterling, IL 61081; or Rock River Hospice & Home, 2706 Avenue E, Sterling, IL 61081.