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Larry Douglas Coats Sr.: Loris

    Larry Douglas “L.D.”Coats (Sr.)  of Loris, died peacefully in his home on Monday, June 29 in the Pleasant Meadow community of Loris. He was 78.
    L.D. is survived by his wife, Ruby Small Coats; children, Sandy Brossard and her husband Gerry of Columbia, Larry D. Coats Jr. and his wife Suzanne of Apex, and Elaine Coats Fairman and her husband Scott of Charlotte; as well as Jamie Small and his wife Gina of Loris, and Amy Small Palomares and her husband David of Loris.  L.D. is also survived by sister, Jeanette Coats Bell and her husband Carlton of North Myrtle Beach, SC.
    L.D. was proud to be known as “Papa” or “Papa D” by Bryn Sarvis Rice and her husband Brandon, Holly Marie Sarvis, Courtney Gaudagno and her husband Timothy, Meghan Doligalksi and her husband Steven, Bethany Brooke Coats, Robert Fairman, Andrew Fairman, Victoria Martin and her husband Justin, Brian Palomares, William Palomares, Keri Small, Zackary Small, Tanner Patterson, Landyn Martin and Oliver Small.  
    He is preceded in death by sister Minnie Lee Coats Suggs of Virginia Beach, Virginia, parents Robert Trenton Coats and Brookie Fowler Coats, and Matthew and Noah Palomares.
    L.D. was born on March 19, 1937 in Mullins, to Robert Trenton Coats and Brookie Fowler Coats.  He graduated from Loris High School in 1954 and married Ruby Small in 1955.  After graduating from Carolina College of Commerce in 1962, L.D. and Ruby returned to the family farm near Loris where he started a long career in finance and banking.  Early in his career, he was recognized by the General Motors Chevrolet Council of Business Managers for his business management expertise.  L.D. was an active member of Pleasant Meadow Baptist Church where he was a teacher, mentor, deacon and leader for most of his life.  He proudly led the Bible Sword Drills training in the church, and several of his young students became statewide champions through the years.
    L.D. was a loving and dedicated husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, son, uncle and friend. He was always willing to help others and he did so with a smile.  He would often ride through Loris and the surrounding communities and point out to his family, with pride, the homes and businesses of “his customers” and the families he had helped through the years.
    L.D. was a firm believer in the importance of education and encouraged all of his family to pursue an active life of learning.  He received multiple awards for the significant time and effort he contributed to support vocational education in the surrounding community and was recognized by the Horry County Public School System and the State of South Carolina Board of Education for that work.  He received the Outstanding Service Award presented by the National Vocational-Technical Honor Society and the Friends of Vocational Education Award presented by the South Carolina Vocational Directors Association.  L.D. was also active in many community and civic roles including the Loris Chapter of Civitan International and the Woodmen of the World.
    All are welcome to attend the funeral scheduled for 1 p.m. on Friday, July 3 at Pleasant Meadow Baptist Church to celebrate L.D.’s life.  A reception for friends and family will follow the graveside service in the church fellowship hall.  Additionally, his family will receive guests at the Goldfinch Funeral Home in Loris from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 2.
    The L. D. Coats Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established at the Coastal Educational Foundation to receive memorial gifts in L.D.’s honor.  The fund will provide scholarship funding for students from the local community who attend Coastal Carolina University in Conway.  Contributions may be remitted to the Coastal Educational Foundation, P.O. Box 261954, Conway SC 29528-6054, “L. D. Coats Memorial Scholarship Fund”.
    A guest register is available here.

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