Geneva June Beltz Coats was born to L.E. and Ruth (Redding) Beltz in Willow Springs, Missouri, on August 18, 1930. After a lengthy illness, she passed away in Cabool, Missouri, on September 30, 2018.
Geneva attended Clear Springs Rural School from first through eighth grades and graduated from Willow Springs High School in 1948. She began attending the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1948, and graduated from Drury College in 1963 with a degree in elementary education. She completed her master’s degree in education from Missouri State University (then SMSU) in 1972. She retired from teaching in 1991, after teaching 33 years, with 26 years as a first and second grade teacher in Mountain Grove Public Schools. She passed on her passion for reading and writing to many of her students.
Geneva had a long career that was highlighted by many awards and honors. She was the Southwest District president of Missouri State Teachers Association in the early 1980s. In addition, she was honored as the Mountain Grove Business and Professional Women’s Woman of the Year in 1983. She was a member of the MSTA state legislative committee for 15 years and also served on the resolution committee. In addition, she belonged to and was active in Delta Kappa Gamma, Wright County Retired Teachers Association, Gideons Auxiliary, and Texas County Republicans.
Geneva and her husband, Jim, have been members of South Street Church of God since 1955. She was active in children’s ministry, particularly as Sunday school superintendent and planned Vacation Bible School for many years. She was passionate about her faith, education, reading, and her family. She and her husband enjoyed hosting and attending numerous family functions and their children’s and grandchildren’s school activities.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Jakey, Leroy, and George, and three infant brothers; her sisters-in-law, Lorene and Irene; her grandson, Andy Venter; and her step-granddaughter, Jana Barkley.
Geneva is survived by her husband of 68 years, James A. Coats; her six children, Janet (Larry) Barkley of rural Joplin, Missouri, Jimmie (Novalee) Coats of Mountain Grove, Missouri, Mike (Daisy) Coats of Licking, Missouri, Ruth (Ed) Southards of Pacific, Missouri, Marjorie (Tom) Martuch of Augusta, Michigan, and Tom (Karen) Coats of Mountain Grove, and Rita Bradshaw of Mountain Grove, her daughter in her heart. Additionally, she is survived by her grandchildren, Eric (Milinda) Venter, Jill Venter (Soren Petersen), Tim (Shari) Southards, Steve (Erin) Southards, Ben Southards, Anna Martuch, Joe Martuch, Lindsay (Craig) Nelson, Adam (Ashley) Coats, Whitney (Louis) Davis; step-grandchildren, Jeff (Jo-An) Barkley, Mike (Diana) Radford, Dan (Gloria) Radford, Patsy (Keith) Dunlap, and Darren (Ellen) Radford; and numerous great- and great-great-grandchildren. Other well-loved children and grandchildren include Randi Milburn and her daughters, Staci Marah Owens and Lori Marah Jones. Geneva is also survived by two brothers, Kenneth (Viola) Beltz and John (Jeannie) Beltz, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Memorial gifts can be made to the Mountain Grove Elementary School Library, South Street Church of God, or to Gideons International, in care of the funeral home.
Visitation for Geneva Coats will be Saturday, October 6, 2018, from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m., followed by her memorial service at 11:00 a.m., all at South Street Church of God, Mountain Grove, under the direction of Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home, Mountain Grove.
Private family burial will be at Stuart Union Cemetery, West Plains, Missouri.