October 20, 1951 - December 1, 2021
Meridee Leavitt Coates, 70, departed this mortal probation, due to cancer, on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, peacefully and quietly at home with her beloved husband, Gary, by her side. Meridee was born October 20, 1951 in Ogden, Utah to Charles Perry and Janice Marilyn Andelin Leavitt in the old Thomas D. Dee hospital on the Saturday of the opening of the deer hunt. She grew up in northern California, with most of her time living in South San Francisco, where her father worked for the American Red Cross. She attended several different elementary schools and jr. high schools and graduated from El Camino High School in South San Francisco. She attended Skyline Jr. College, in California, for 2 years before transferring to Brigham Young University. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in general studies and later, she received her teaching certificate from B.Y.U. and worked for many years teaching in the Provo City School District, as well as Head Start, Sylvan Learning Center and Walden School (a Montessori School). Her most rewarding experience was teaching reading at Utah State Hospital and U.S. History and Government in Provo’s Adult Education program, where she taught for 11 years. Meridee was never blessed with children of her own, but as a teacher and private tutor, she touched and changed the lives of countless students, some of which came back years later and personally thanked her for helping them in their struggles to learn. In 1972, she met Gary Coates, who was also a student at B.Y.U., and they were married for time and all eternity, in the Ogden Temple, on April 19, 1973. Meridee and Gary lived all of their married lives in Provo. Meridee was a devoted and faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all of her life and served in many capacities, including Relief Society President twice, and various ward and stake Primary presidencies. Her favorite callings were as Relief Society teacher and Adult Sunday School teacher. She served in the Young Women’s in various roles and was also a ward chorister several times. Singing was a great part of Meridee’s life, and she had a beautiful singing voice. She sang in the Oakland Temple Pageant, three times, the last time in the Stage chorus. She sang solos in church, and once sang a solo at stake conference in the Provo Tabernacle. For a short time she sang with a local women’s musical group, Friends and Neighbors. Gary can attest to the fact that she would sing at home all the time, until later life when she claimed to have lost her voice. Meridee enjoyed crafting all of her married life, including cross-stitch, crocheting, doll-making, and making beaded necklaces. She also enjoyed cooking, especially pies and casseroles, and she and Gary loved dutch oven cooking for family and friends, and even competed in a couple dutch oven cook-offs in Utah Valley. She always had a tender spot in her heart for animals of all kinds and rescued many cats and two dogs and gave them lives in her home. Her favorite television program was "Too Cute” on the Animal Planet channel. After Meridee retired from teaching, she and Gary enjoyed going to the Provo Rec. Center multiple times per week and going to lunch at Chuck-A-Rama, in Provo, where they got to know the serving staff on a first name basis. Meridee and Gary bought adult trikes in 2006 and could be seen riding them over the years, especially after retirement, on the streets of Provo. They wanted to do more, but the time was cut short by her cancer diagnosis. Meridee and Gary built a beautiful life together and loved each other always. Meridee is survived by her husband of 48 years, Gary (Provo), sister Betty Jan Murphy (Tucson, AZ), brother Phil Leavitt (Boise, ID), sister Lisa Marshall (St. George, UT), and sister Wendy Ball (Lodi, CA), plus many aunts and cousins in many states. She was preceded in death by her parents and older brother Roger Leavitt. The family would like to thank the hospice team from Community Nursing Service for caring for Meridee during the last months of her life, especially Natalie, Eden, Georgi, Matt, Tammy, Jennifer, Megan, and Jace. They gave her wonderful care. Many friends and beloved ward members also reached out and visited Meridee and showed their love for her as her health declined. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, December 10, 2021 at the Provo Freedom Stake Center Chapel, 835 South 500 West, Provo, Utah. Friends may visit with the family from 12:30-1:45 p.m. prior to services. Interment will be in the Provo City Cemetery. Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.bergmortuary.com. Those who are unable to attend the services in person are invited to view a livestream at https://youtu.be/cyD1TlYdKnE.
Meridee Leavitt Coates, 70, departed this mortal probation, due to cancer, on Wednesday, December 1, 2021, peacefully and quietly at home with her beloved husband, Gary, by her side. Meridee was born October 20, 1951 in Ogden, Utah to Charles... View Obituary & Service Information
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