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Remembering Russell Coile
Remembering Russell Coile
Alice Gerrard, November 12th, 2011 6:45 am, Durham, NC United States of America toggle
Dear Coiles
I was in Spain when Jon emailed me the news that Russell had died. Now I am home and can gather a few thoughts.

I remember so vividly how Russell and Ellen helped me after my husband Jeremy was killed in 1964, sorting through and helping me with all the myriad of decisions I had to make regarding my and our 4 children's future. I will never forget how kind you all were. We lost touch over the years, but I was happily surprised by a sudden phone call from Russell about a year ago saying he had written a book and wanted to send me a copy (which he did). What a great project!

My thoughts are with you all....

Love, Alice
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Anne Jones, November 10th, 2011 8:17 am, Federalsburg, Maryland United States of America toggle
Dave was just reading his latest edition of the Marine Corp. Heritage Foundation Sentinel and your Dad's name is in the TAPS section. He must have been greatly respected by the Marine Corp to be mentioned in their magazine.

Anne Jones

Thanks, Anne. That is a very nice accolade. My dad was Director of the Marine Corps Operations Analysis Group for most of the 60s and was in Vietnam for the fall of 1968 with General Ray Davis. General Earl Anderson (4 stars) was at Arlington for the funeral last week. General Anderson was Assistant Commandant back in the early 70s and a close friend of my Dad's. Pretty impressive honor having him at Arlington since he is in his early 90s now!

Thanks for sharing Dave's comment.


Now Dave is impressed.

He was in a group founding Purple Heart for the Eastern Shore and worked with GEN Anderson. Of course, that was years ago.

Anne Jones
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Ross Telson, November 1st, 2011 7:47 pm, Montgomery Village, MD 20886 United States of America toggle
Ellen, I was deeply saddened to hear of Russell's passing but grateful for having enjoyed our time together during my brief tour at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. I'll never forget our serendipitous meeting more than 20 years ago. Eagle-eyed Ellen spotted a young naval officer lugging his "portable&qu ot; Macintosh computer through the Monterey airport and seized on a mutually beneficial opportunity. For the occasional mac lesson, I found a home-away-from home, Ellen's great home-cooking, a cheesecake recipe I still make to rave reviews, and an unexpected bonus in Russell. He and I quickly became Shields-class sailing partners, fellow mac-loyalists, and good friends as we discovered many shared interests including Russell’s fire-engine red Mazda RX-7. Then I met Jon and his lovely wife Wendy whose annual holiday cards always left me looking forward to next year’s surprise. Looking back now, its so clear how Russell has enriched the lives of not only his family but of everyone who was fortunate enough to have made his acquaintance. His influence lives on in all of us.
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Curry Graham, October 31st, 2011 1:15 pm, 1E Perry Circle, Annapolis, Maryland 21402 United States of America toggle
I am sorry, I know he must have been a great man with a son like Jon.

my prayers are with you all.

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Cdr Charles E.Brown, USN (Ret.), October 31st, 2011 12:54 pm, Fort Myers, Florida United States of America toggle
Please accept sincere condolences from the Brown family. Russ and I were shipmates at CINCUSNAVEUR and I remember him not only as one of the smartest men I have known, but one of the gentlest. It was a pleasure to have known him.

Charlie and Daphne Brown
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Sienna Jane Coile Robrock, October 25th, 2011 2:37 pm, San Francisco, CA United States of America toggle
i'm still having trouble realizing that you're gone. when i visit Grandma, it feels weird to look in your den and see your chair empty. thank you for all the good times, brushing the knots out of my hair, trying your best to make sure i could retain my spanish, taking me to the library almost every day and letting me check out a stack of books each time, all the encouragements for college, and teaching me to iron.
i really miss you, Grandaddy, but i'm happy that you were around for almost nineteen years of my life. thank you.
xo your granddaughter.
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Ellen Coile, September 7th, 2011 8:30 pm, Pacific Grove, California United States of America toggle
Dearest Russell:

In 1951 I promised to love you "'til death us do part" but now I would like to expand that to "all eternity."

You thanked me frequently (sometimes several times in a day) for marrying you. I always said "thank you for asking" because ours was a true partnership. I couldn't have had a successful marriage without you, nor you without me, which made it nice.

Thank you for three wonderful children: Jennifer Norah Miller Coile, Jonathan Roy Miller Coile, and Andrew Cleven Miller Coile. I always knew I wanted you to be the father of my children -- and what a superb job you did.

I put my maiden name "Miller" ; in each of their names because I wanted people to know they were my children as well as yours. I don't approve of the way women used to lose their identity after marriage, taking the husband's name, etc. I put Miller in my name when I found people here put "none" or "NMI" in my name when they found I had no middle name.

When I became a citizen they asked me if I was petitioning for a name change, I said, "No. I’ve been Miller all my life," but was told in America that was an alias or A.K.A. So I said, "Yes please. I want to change my name to retain my maiden name as a middle name." So now I am legal.

When we had our 50th wedding anniversary people asked me if we were going to renew our vows. I said, "No. They aren't broken. We got it right the first time."

I never understood "the honeymoon is over when..." jokes because our never was. (It wasn't all peaches and cream, but we always worked things out.)

You always said, "Look out for #1" and I would answer, "I do. It is you." And that was the truth of it. I always agreed to whatever was good for you. The only time I said "No" to an assignment (Rio) we went anyway, the worst year of my life. But I survived it.

So thank you for a wonderful ride. You gave me and our children a wonderful life, for which I thank you.

'Til we meet again.

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Elizabeth B. Armstrong, MAM, CAE, August 29th, 2011 11:59 am, Falls Church, VA United States of America toggle
Dear Coile Family:

Please know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of many, many emergency management friends throughout the country and the world. Dr. Coile made a lasting impact on our profession and a positive contribution as a long-time member of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM).

I am proud to have his memoir on my book-shelf and honored to include him as one of our first Lifetime Certified Emergency Managers(r). He will be fondly enshrined in our hearts and in our memories.

Elizabeth B. Armstrong, MAM, CAE
Chief Executive Officer
International Association of Emergency Managers
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Jean Foley, July 24th, 2011 8:58 am, Millersville, MD United States of America toggle
Dear Coile family,
I just heard yesterday of Russell's passing. I offer my sincere condolences. I never met him, but my father, Paul Foley, Jr., met and was good friends with Ellen and Russell while my dad was Flight Operations Officer for the U.S. Navy 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean in the 1950's. My parents exchanged Christmas cards for years with Ellen and Russell, even after my father's passing in 1990. I personally have worked with Jon and Chris while I was a residential realtor at the Severna Park office of Champion Realty.
My mother was born and grew in Honolulu and also graduated from high school there (Punahou). We lived in Monterey, CA when Dad was second in command at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate Schools. So we have many connections to the Coiles.
I offer my love and prayers for your family.
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Gretchen Purcell Jackson, July 12th, 2011 7:47 am, Nashville, TN United States of America toggle
Dear Coile family,

I was saddened to hear about Russell's passing in June. My family's thoughts and prayers are with you. I feel so blessed to have crossed path's with such an interesting and inspirational character.

I met Russell when I was in graduate school at Stanford, and he was giving away his large Journal of the American Society for Information Science (JASIS) collection. He looked for a place to donate these journals on the ASIS listserv, and I responded that not only would my library love those journals, but that I would be happy to retrieve them in person! I was a graduate student in the new field of medical information sciences in the early 1990s -- right when the Internet was emerging (and we did not have many journals online). Most of my colleagues were doing research on knowledge acquisition in the broad fields of expert systems and artificial intelligence, but I was doing work on how to represent things such as medical journals and textbooks on the Internet. I often needed those JASIS articles, but our library did not subscribe. Several people wanted this collection, and Russell said he chose me because I had an electrical engineering degree as he did.

I made the trip to Pacific Grove and retrieved several years worth of JASIS and ASIS bulletin for our informatics libraary, and they served me well and were a resource for several subsequent students, including the very successful Wanda Pratt, Ida Sim, and Elmer Bernstam. The best part of my visit was the Ellen had prepared a lovely lunch of pea soup. Russell and Ellen continued to provide me with the JASIS issues, sending packages to me at Duke, UMPC, and Vanderbilt, along with delightful notes from Ellen about the latest family activities.

I join you in celebrating Russell's life, and thank you for being a part of mine.

Yours sincerely,
Gretchen Purcell Jackson, M.D., Ph.D.
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William Bell, July 1st, 2011 10:42 pm, Columbia United States of America toggle
I can not believe that it was 35 years ago that I first met Russell Coile as a college freshman and friend of his son Jonathan. He struck me then, and at every other time I encountered him, as a scholar and true gentleman. I am sure there are countless people throughout the world whose lives were made just a bit brighter by having known him.

Peace to all his friends and family.

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Cheryl Fishman, June 20th, 2011 1:21 am, Monterey, CA United States of America toggle
Dear Ellen & family,
I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to have worked with Russell and the Coile family over the past few months. I would come over and ask him to do exercises and walk around when he probably really just wanted to finish his breakfast leisurely! But he was a trooper, and he did what he could and then some. I will always remember the last time I saw Russell. Jonathan was there and told me that the previous time I worked with Russell, he hadn't been walking but then got up and took off with his walker for me showing off. I love Russell's hard-working attitude and humor until the end. He (and you all) have been a pleasure to work with. I hope in this difficult time you are able to cherish the many special memories you have all shared. My prayers and thoughts are with you.
~Cheryl Fishman
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Maia Ventura, June 18th, 2011 12:05 pm, Salinas, CA United States of America toggle
My husband, Marvin Ventura, and I are very sad to hear of Ellen's loss. Russell was so kind and so elegant and gentle. One story I like is that he brought in his Mazda to the auto shop I worked in and my boss was so afraid of him! Most gratifying. (He was also overcome by the MIT vanity plates, I think.)

Russell will always be remembered with a lot of love from us.
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Elizabeth Alexander, June 17th, 2011 11:57 am, Coatbridge Scotland United Kingdom toggle
Mum has asked us to convey this:

I remember Russell as an always kind and hospitable gentleman. He was so wonderfully bright but unassuming and good to everyone. It was my privilege to know him.

Ellen, I know you are missing him. I still miss Archie. It will never be the same, but you go on. Your bright light is still needed in this world. My prayers are with you!

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Helena Fernholm, June 17th, 2011 1:45 am, Sweden toggle
Dear Ellen, My thoughts are with you in these days. Over 30 years have passed since I met with Russell and you in St Andrews, Scotland, and I am happy that we still keep in touch.

To honour Russell´s memory, I have made a donation to the philanthropic work of the Swedish branch of The Society of Friends.

Helena Fernholm, Lund, Sweden
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Bob and Jan Colvin, June 15th, 2011 4:47 pm, Easton, MD United States of America toggle
Jon, thank you for letting us know about your Dad. We remember him as being most gracious and kind, and always taking the time to talk with us. Our prayers are with you, your Mom, and all your family at this time.
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Charlie and Jeanne Wilkins, June 15th, 2011 11:57 am, Pacific Grove, CA. United States of America toggle
Ellen. Jeanne and I send our condolences to you and your family. I was so greatful when Russell accepted a position at Pacific Grove Fire Department as the city's first Disaster Planner. Russell truly dedicated himself to this comprehensive project. The results of the disaster plan and the training of city personnel that Russell oversaw were remarkable. The city is well prepaired thanks to Russell.
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Aron Legler, June 14th, 2011 6:42 pm, NYC United States of America toggle
When I was a high school student Russell offered me a job performing various errands and tasks around the house and garden. He remains one of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of working for. I still remember how every day he insisted upon me taking a break and sitting out on the patio with the family for lunch. I learned so much from him.

I offer my heart-felt condolences to Ellen and family.

-Aron Legler
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Gale Foss, June 14th, 2011 1:19 pm, Marina, CA United States of America toggle
Our lodge was sorry to hear of Russell's passing. He has been a supporting member for over a decade of Aasgaarden Lodge, Sons of Norway. We will miss him.

Gale Arthur Foss, President
Aasgaarden Lodge 6-112
Sons of Norway
Monterey, CA
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Carolyn & David Alexander, June 12th, 2011 4:02 pm, Corral De Tierra, CA United States of America toggle
Ellen & family, We were so sorry to hear of Russell's passing. Thank you for letting us know. I had the good fortune to work with Russell for many years at CDEC. He was greatly respected for his intelligence, work ethic and the kindness he showed to everyone. We also have wonderful memories of delicious dinners and very special receptions with you.
At the moment, we have a conflict, which means we can not attend the memorial service this coming Saturday. We are looking into possibly rearranging the commitment, but if we can not, please know that we are with you in spirit. We will make a donation in Russell's memory to the library. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Carolyn & David
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Yoshiko Balkon, June 12th, 2011 2:42 pm, Prunedale, CA United States of America toggle
I have known Russell only a little over four months, but it was my great privilege and pleasure. He was the nicest man I have ever worked for and a true gentleman. I will miss him very much.
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Leah and Ron Novak, June 12th, 2011 4:50 am, Haifa Israel toggle
To all of you in the Coile family,

We are sending you our condolences.

We didn't know your father, but from reading about him, hearing about him from Jon and knowing Chris and Jon,
we know that he was very special and nobelminded.

We are sure it's a great loss for you.

We wish you know no more sorrow,

Leah & Ron Novak, Israel
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Anna, Beate, Angelika, Guenter Zoebeley, June 12th, 2011 3:38 am, Schwetzingen Germany toggle
Dear Ellen,
Please accept our heartfelt sympathy on the passing of your husband.
To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.
He had a wonderful and successful life and could be proud of so many things he had achieved. He could be so proud of you, his wonderful wife, and all his children and grandchildren. Now he has given back his life in the hands of our merciful god.
We think in our prayers of you, Russell and the family.
Anna, Beate, Angelika and Guenter Zoebeley
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John Kern, June 11th, 2011 9:51 pm, Pacific Grove United States of America toggle
Russell impressed with his mostly patient and generous devotion to Ellen and her passions, while also pursuing his own. He is an exemplar for aging slowly and gracefully. Elegant, serious and intelligent, he never failed to show good humor and practicality about life and its vicissitudes.

Melissa and I send our condolences to Ellen and all the rest of the family who have lost their gem. We also feel the loss and will miss Russell.

John and Melissa
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Sarah Gillingham, June 11th, 2011 2:50 pm, Aptos, CA United States of America toggle
Dear Ellen,
Andrew and I feel privileged to have known, even for a short time, such an amazing person as Russell, and we only know a small fraction of what he achieved. He is truly an inspiration. Mum and Dad asked me to pass on their condolences also. We love you and we are thinking of you.
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Ed & Anita Harriger, June 11th, 2011 12:01 pm, Pacific Grove, CA United States of America toggle
Ellen, We pray for your strength, peace and condolence during this time of Russel's Passing. When I was at the Pacific Grove Police Department I enjoyed working with Russell in disaster planning. I was always impressed with his youthful vigor and joy of discovery, learning and volunteering. He was always driven to improve himself and the conditio of others.

We have found memories of the many Summer Teas we attended at your home. We only regret we could not attend more often.

We will cherish fond memories of Russell.

Ed & Anita Harriger
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Judy Paterson, June 11th, 2011 10:48 am, Marina United States of America toggle

Please accept my heartfelt sympathy on the passing of your father.

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Roger Denk, June 11th, 2011 9:56 am, Monterey California United States of America toggle
Dear Coile family,

What sad news that Russell has passed away. We send our condolences to you for your loss.

For a number of years Russell and I were members of a memoir writing group at the Carmel Foundation. I was struck both by Russell's skill as a chronicler of his life and his personal pride in what he'd accomplished.

We also enjoyed those wonderful garden parties at the Coile "cottage&quo t; in the years that followed.

Russell made a difference in everything that he did, something most of us cannot say. His memory remains with me still.

Roger and Adrienne Denk
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John & Trudi Hughes, June 10th, 2011 7:52 am, Great Dunmow, Essex United Kingdom toggle
Ellen and family,

Russell had an amazing life, doing things and achieving right up to his last days. The Russell we were fortunate enough to know, was a wonderful life partner for Ellen. That, too is really special, and you all have your memories, and of course, there is the book. I am sure he'd want you all to celebrate his life rather than mourn his passing. Our thoughts are very much with you all at this time.

Patricia Tomsett,
John & Trudi Hughes
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Sandra Sims, June 9th, 2011 1:10 pm, Champion Realty. United States of America toggle
Jon and Chris. You were Blessed to have such a wonderful father. He made you the great men you are today. God Bless you. I love you always. Please remember this, your dad is with GOD and GOD is with you. And you will always be together. Love Sandy.
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Laura Kelley, June 8th, 2011 7:12 pm, Salinas CA United States of America toggle
I met Russell as a member of the Monterey County Citzen Corps Council a disaster prepardness group. He was a quiet unassuming man, and a delight to work with. I feel honored to have known him and wish his family all the best during this difficult time.
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Diana Herring, June 8th, 2011 3:49 pm, Pasadena, MD United States of America toggle
I didn't know Russell personally but knowing his son Jon I can only imagine what a wonderful man and father he was. My condolences to the entire family. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
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Lisa Maddalena, Pacific Grove Library, June 6th, 2011 8:02 pm, Pacific Grove, CA United States of America toggle
Dear Jennifer,

On behalf of the entire library staff, I would like to offer our deepest condolences for the death of your father.

We all enjoyed our interactions with him and will miss him very much. (I have known your father and mother since I started here at the library 27 years ago) We are so grateful to him and your family for all they have done for the library. Please tell your family that we are thinking of them.


Lisa Maddalena, Senior Librarian
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Judith Bolon, June 6th, 2011 6:33 pm, California United States of America toggle
Russell put the "gentle" ; and the "man" in "gentleman. He was so interested in everyone and everything.

"How are you?, where are you?" were his frequent phone greeting. And Russell really wanted to know despite the fact that HIS was the life of a great memoir.

As a frequent, and grateful, guest at the Coile table, I knew there would always be a fascinating mix of dear family, old friends and new ones.

With love to the family and friends who will miss him as I do. Judith Bolon
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Dale Allen, June 6th, 2011 5:09 pm, Monterey. CA United States of America toggle
Russell, although you are probably arriving in heaven a little late for the flood God sent, I'm sure they will appreciate all of the skills , kindness, sharp wit and warm heart that you bring with you.

It was truly an honor knowing you here on earth and we will see each other again some day, I hope!!

Your friend,
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Pamela Cunha, June 6th, 2011 4:46 pm, Marina, California United States of America toggle

My deepest condolences to you and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

In Sympathy,
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Vera Acevedo, June 6th, 2011 4:36 pm, San Jose, California United States of America toggle

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I did not know your father but from you told me he was a wonderful man.

He is now resting and in a better place.
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Jonathan Coile, June 6th, 2011 1:29 pm, Annapolis, Maryland United States of America toggle
When Russell turned age 74, his adult children (of which I am the second to the youngest) started building memories with him once a year with special trips or adventures. Fishing trips on the Chesapeake, setting the Aviation World Speed Record for the fastest flight from Washington, D.C. to Rome (and only admiting when pressured that we actually flew to the other "Rome", the one in New York state), week long catamaran charters, visits to Fortress Monroe where he lived in the '20s, nine-day voyages down the Intracoastal Waterway and many more adventures.

We were afraid of losing him and wanted the time to build more memories. Who knew we would be blessed with two more decades. Still, the time seemed to race. He will be missed by many more than just the family.

~ Jon
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Dianne, June 6th, 2011 9:16 am, United Kingdom toggle
I am proud that you were my uncle and enjoyed meeting up with you over the years, you will be very sadly missed
lots of love from Dianne, Kaleigh and Jim xxxx
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Jennifer Norah Miller Coile, June 6th, 2011 6:16 am, Hollister, CA, EEUU United States of America toggle

I have 57 years worth of memories and I'm grateful for so many things. I'm still impressed by the Agatha Christie project - when you became debilitated by health issues and more home bound starting in March, you decided to read all 110 of her mysteries in the order in which she wrote them! I hope I'm so creative for so long.

Love, Jennifer
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Bill Vigna, June 5th, 2011 3:00 pm, Fairfax, VA United States of America toggle
Though I did not know you, I know your son Andrew, and he was (is) a person I looked to with admiration and a role model for how to be a good person. I hope I raise my children as well as you raised yours.
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Ken Rolle, June 5th, 2011 12:44 pm, Pacific Grove, CA United States of America toggle
Your warm comfort and friendship will be missed. Thanks again for all you have done for all of us.
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Andrew Coile, June 5th, 2011 9:58 am, Marina, California United States of America toggle
Thanks for everything you did, and the role model you set.  I love you and miss you.
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