SARANAC LAKE - Robert Patrick Coats passed away (unexpectedly) of heart failure Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, at his home in Naples, N.Y. His wife Blake was at his side.
"Rob" was born Aug. 4, 1965, in the U.S. Military Hospital, Wiesbaden, Germany, the son of Owen Philip Coats and Betty Ann (Douglas) Coats. Rob was a proud "Army brat."
Rob graduated from Saranac Lake High School and went on to get his Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Potsdam and his Master of Arts from SUNY Brockport.
Rob was a teacher for 22 years at Churchville-Chili High School, where he taught social studies. Rob was beloved by his students as well as faculty. He was more than a teacher by far; he was a mentor and in many cases a friend to his students. If a student had a problem, no matter how small or large, Rob was the "go-to guy."
Rob taught to all students, with complete disregard to their backgrounds or beliefs and that there was a place in the world for "oddballs" and "weirdos." Rob was totally committed to education and acceptance; as his students say, "Mr. Coats lit up the classroom: Rest in peace Mr. Coats, you will be sorely missed but never forgotten."
Robert is survived by his wife Blake; daughters: Phoebe, Julia and Isabella; his father Owen; and brothers: Roland and his wife Mary of Henderson, N.C., and Daniel and his wife Delayne of Albion. He is also survived by his many aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and cousins.
Robert was predeceased by his mother, Betty Ann Coats.
A memorial gathering was held Aug. 10 in Naples and attended by his many friends, fellow teachers, students and alumni.