“LR” Lloyd Ralph Coates was born on a blistery cold day in Consort, Alberta in December 1937 and was the second eldest son of Ethelen Gladys Coates (Sonmor) and “EW” William Earl Coates both born near the line at Alsask, Saskatchewan and Saskalta, Alberta, respectively - a true product of a large hardworking farm family with 8 siblings: Mervin (pre-deceased) and survived by Ray, Audrey, Laverne, Claire, Lorraine, Guy & Denise. Like his father, Lloyd went across the 4th meridian to Loverna, Saskatchewan for his bride of 60+ years, “Jo” Josephine Audrey Coates (Hedin) who survives. One of LR’s favorite teasing was sung to Jo (Swedish heritage) was “through the weeds came forty Swedes pursuit by one Norwegian”. Lloyd and Jo are survived by 4 children: Brent Lloyd, Elaine Sharon, Warren Scott and Darren Paul Coates; four grand kids: Brandyn, Taylor, Jasper and Ellery Coates; and one great grand-daughter Aubree, Taylor’s girl.
LR was taught how to work hard and in turn, so did his children and to be competitive - he did not always get it right - but worked hard to achieve much. He left this world with a well-used body having survived a barn fire in Conrich, broken ribs from a protective mare, crushed knees from bulls in trimming/blocking chutes etc. LR was an award-winning purebred cattlemen and showman- Shawnee Charolais won numerous grand-champions and consigned many high selling entries. He had the eye and the touch; he judged and was ring-man for cattle shows at the professional and 4-H levels. LR’s “hands to larger service” were honoured for his part in forming several 4-H Clubs including, Bellis and Vilna and was a volunteer leader for the Chestermere club where his kids were highly successful; he did not apologize that those awards helped he and EW sell white bulls and those buckskin calves were sourced from customers who bought his genetics.
At Conrich, LR exposed his kids to the world of global progeny as he was pivotal in the quarantine station there, where the exotics came into Canada from France, Italy and Switzerland bringing size and rate-of-gain to the British breeds. The Charolais business was an exciting place to be in the 70’s and Lloyd and Jo were in the thick of it. This buzz turned the kids into curious, extensive travelers and even though Lloyd never ventured far Elaine made memorable trips happen with the folks to Texas, Arizona and the west coast. Elaine: always by LR’s side. Farming took LR from the homestead area in Compeer, to Conrich in 1971 and in 1978 to south of Vilna near the North Saskatchewan river. Claire & Guy followed, where the band of brothers collaborated putting up silage (not common there), shared farm implements and mixed in a few Pilsners and some rye. After years of drought, in 1995 he scaled it down with a smaller operation in Botha- east of Stettler
LR’s life on this planet was occasionally like the Hank Williams Snr’s song (his fave) “My Bucket’s Got a Hole In It” but dispersed mostly with prosperity. The large log house built in the bush at Gold Creek was there for his family in the kids’ formidable years. Money, home canning, farm beef and purple gas made it to NAIT, GMAC and UofC- the kids were provided every opportunity, even to fail, sometimes at his cost with some land & farming ventures ending on the “bucked off or no-time” side of the ledger. An eventful and memorable life by a true cow man, who did well for the bovine species, had his special connections with horses such as Spook, Scout and Dixie and an unequalled work ethic and tenacity. His true love with Jo for 60 of his 83 years will last beyond exemplified by few, followed by fewer.
Family arrangements have been made and further celebrations of life-in the hard grass prairie, will follow where he will be interned this summer.
In lieu of flowers (can’t make silage of them) please consider a donation to your local 4-H Club in Lloyd’s honour at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/4-h-foundation-of-alberta/. Or buy a fat steer with friends from a 4-H’r this spring.
The family would like to extend its sincere gratitude to the staff at Bethany Care Calgary who are working under the most challenging circumstances.