Dennis Dean Coonts, son of the late Burrell and Zella Mae (Dennis) Coonts, was born April 9, 1950, in Norwood, Missouri, and departed this life May 14, 2020, at his home in Vanzant, Missouri. He was 70 years, one month, and five days of age.
Dean grew up in Douglas County and attended school at Mountain Grove. He moved to Iowa and worked for Oscar Mayer, construction, and also was a part-time bartender.
He met the love of his life, Merrie Woods, on October 8, 1983. In 1984 they moved to the family farm in Vanzant. They raised cattle, hogs, horses, and other animals on the farm. Dean also worked as a welder for Hutchens Industries, owned and operated a sawmill, and most recently retired from driving road construction trucks.
Dean was stubborn, ornery, and the life of any party. He enjoyed being in the great outdoors, especially when riding motorcycles, off-road trail riding, and mushroom hunting. He loved spending time with his family on the farm, routine phone calls from Larry, Darla, Denise, and his frequent road trips with Rocky, who he thought of like a son. He also enjoyed sharing his DeKuyper apricot brandy with family and friends. He would say, “It will warm you up or cool you down” or “Are you sick… you better have some.” His greatest joy was spending time with family. Family (blood or not) always came first for Dean.
Besides his parents, Dean was preceded in death by two brothers, Danny Joe and Donald Lee Coonts.
Survivors include his loving wife, Merrie Coonts of the home; one daughter, Denise Coonts and fiancé Dacy Collins of Diggins, Missouri; two sons, Burl Dean Coonts of Willow Springs, Missouri, and Jeremy Weggen of Davenport, Iowa; eight grandchildren, Jackson Dean Collins, Mackenzie Weggen, Jonathan Weggen, Spencer Weggen, Abigail Weggen, Sarah Coonts, Michael Coonts, and Justice Coonts; one great-grandson, Jaxon; one brother, David Coonts and wife Sue of Cabool, Missouri; two sisters, Diann Smith and husband Danny of Vanzant and Darla Beltz and husband Jim of Mountain Grove, Missouri; and numerous nieces and nephews, cousins and friends who will miss his greatly.
Funeral services were held Monday, May 18, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. at Pleasant Home Church, Drury, Missouri, with Rev. Gail Scherer officiating. Song selections were “When I Get Where I’m Going,” “Daddy’s Hands,” and “Free Ride.” Rocky Coonts, Justin Smith, Heath Rodgers, Dacy Collins, Dan Carr, and Ethan Noble served as pallbearers. James Ault, Larry Shelton, Burl Coonts, and Jeremy Weggen served as honorary pallbearers. Burial was in Pleasant Home Cemetery under the direction of Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home, Mountain Grove. Memorial contributions may be made to Pleasant Home Cemetery, Shriners, or St. Jude Children’s Research in care of the funeral home.