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Howard Wilton Coy

Obituary for Howard Wilton Coy

November 23, 1930 - December 30, 2020
Almo, Kentucky | Age 90


Howard Wilton Coy was born in Stewart County Tennessee to the late Clarence Calvin Coy and Esther Wofford Coy on a cold November morning. His birth is a long story, but if you knew Howard, he probably already told you about it. He served in the United States Air Force as a radio and communications operator for the C-119 Flying Boxcar and 22nd Crash Rescue Boat Squadron during the Korean War. He was a successful businessman and co-founder of Murray Appliance Company which became the #1 GE dealership in the southern region during his ownership. In 1999, he was named a Kentucky Colonel, the highest honor bestowed by the Governor of Kentucky in recognition of an individual's noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to the community, state, and nation.
He was a long-standing member of Independence United Methodist Church where he served as Sunday School teacher for 43 years, Sunday School Superintendent 41 years, and Chair of the Admin Council for 42 years. He pretty much did anything he was asked to do for the church, including wrangling camels while playing a wise man in their annual live nativity. That was definitely typecasting.
Howard never met a stranger and was loved and admired by family and friends for his integrity, kindness, and generosity. He could fix anything and loved to restore antique tractors to their former glory. At age 10, a young Howard took discarded muscle fisherman batteries and 6-watt bulbs from wrecked cars to make lights for the chicken house. Mind you, there was no electricity in that part of Western Kentucky at the time. TVA had not built the first dam. No one showed him how to do it, he just figured it out. He built a Howard Original, pre - fabricated shed in his workshop in Kentucky, transported it to Tennessee, and put it together in his daughter's backyard. A few years later, a tornado knocked a large oak tree on top of the shed. The shed is still standing. The tree is not.
He was a Murray State Racer fan through and through, and enjoyed going to Southern gospel music concerts where his daughter sometimes got him pretty good seats. He was a meat and potatoes man, but loved peanut butter cookies and his sister Edna's coconut cake. He spent many lunches at the Murray Dairy Queen where they had his chili dog and banana milkshake waiting on him when he pulled in the parking lot. He liked fishing, but driving the boat was way more fun for him. He doted on his grandson and thought he hung the moon. And his grandson still believes his Pa is a real life superhero.
He managed to talk two smart, wonderful women into marrying him. He was married to Wanda Vance Coy for 49 years until her death. Then he bought a new truck and asked Joann Simmons to go for a ride down at Land Between the Lakes. She has been riding around with him ever since and added 18 years of joy to his long life.
He is survived by his wife Joann of Almo, his daughter Gina Adams, son-in-law Mark Adams and grandson Tyler Adams of Brentwood, Tennessee, stepson Jay Simmons and wife Kim of Mayfield, step grandchildren Preston Simmons of Louisville, Kate Eells and husband Zack and step great granddaughter Ivy June of Murray, and brother Kenneth (Sonny) and wife Wilma Coy of Murray, along with many beloved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by two sisters, Edna Cunningham Holland and Patricia Coy.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the McDaniel Cemetery that Howard dutifully took care of for many years. Send donations to: McDaniel Cemetery, c/o Patricia Lassiter, 1460 Peeler Rd., Dexter, KY 42036.
Howard was thrown a Virtual 90th Birthday party online just a few weeks ago at where lots of people agreed and confirmed that his life was well-lived.
Graveside services will be held in the McDaniel Cemetery at 2:00 on Monday, January 4, 2021. Rev. Richard Burkeen and Howard's Grandson Tyler Adams will officiate. Visitation will be held at the J.H. Churchill Funeral Home and Cremation Services from 11:00 – 1:30 p.m on Monday, January 4, 2021.
Online condolences may be made at

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • McDaniel Cemetery, c/o Patricia Lassiter,
    1460 Peeler Rd.
    Dexter, KY 42036

Arrangements By

J. H. Churchill Funeral Home

201 S. 3rd Street
Murray, KY 42071
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