Johnna Rae Coats
Friday 13th of May 1949 - Tuesday 13th of September 2022
Johnna Rae Coats, passed away on Sept 13, 2022, in Lexington. Johnna was born in Huntington, WV, on May 13, 1949, to Bonnie and Billy Hesson in the same hospital as her husband of 51 years, Rob Coats. She was a majorette at Huntington East High School and was voted “Cutest” of her senior class of 400 students. She and Rob were also voted “Sweetheart Couple” in high school, which they continued for the next 56 years together until her death. Johnna was the first person in her family to go to college.
As an active alum of Marshall University, she served on the Marshall Foundation Board for 9 years, founding an endowed scholarship in her grandmother’s name, Lavona Culp. During her life, she enriched the lives of friends and family in her own community of Lexington as well as scores of folks at Lake Nuangola in Pennsylvania and in Naples, Florida. Johnna enjoyed sportingevents, especially for the University of Kentucky, Marshall, and Virginia Tech, perhaps more because of the fellowship of cheering with loved ones than specifically for the merits of the game.
A fanatic of all things Disney, she spread kindness and saw magic in every aspect of life. Johnna’s family and friends were the center of her universe; her greatest passion was their happiness.
Survivors include her husband Rob Coats, daughter Kristi Coats Appleton (George, Peter, Annie, Jessie), son Kevin Coats (Kenzie, Kingston), mother Bonnie Hesson, and sister Cherri Wallace. A Celebration of Life will be held in Lexington on September 25. A memorial event will also be planned for next summer at Lake Nuangola in Pennsylvania. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the Lavona Culp Scholarship at Marshall University in Huntington, WV. As Johnna would say, “Have a magical day!”
Carolyn Jones Malarkeysays
Rob and family, I am so very sorry to hear this news. Johnna and I were in school together from elementary grades. She was lovely. I remember you in my Latin class when I told you that I thought you would be a good couple. I was right. I have special memories of those years.
Dear Rob and family, Clare and I wish to express our deepest sympathy at the loss of Johanna. I will always remember her ready smile in the office at Tate’s Creek and her readiness to help in any way. She made our office a happier place. May she Rest In Peace. Bill Farnau
Tom and Sue Kringsays
Dear Rob and family. We are so very sorry for your loss. We have many fond memories of our time with the volleyball group. Johnna was a lovely person. ❤️
Johanna, such a sweet soul . So privileged to have known you !A true Southern Lady ❤️ May you Rest In Peace 🙏
It is so hard to lose our darling friend of 50 years. Johnna was a kind, gentle soul who expressed her love to family and friends vocally and in her acts of empathy, generosity and kindness. It was an honor to share our young motherhood and withholds in the wilds of Tunkannock. Pennsylvania. The "Tunkannock girls" never lost their emotional connection. Johnna always laughed at my jokes, even if they were in questionable taste. She was a shining light in this world. I will miss her.