Maxine Coats Lentz

Maxine Coats Lentz

August 11, 1914 - December 26, 2006

Maxine Coats Lentz

August 11, 1914 - December 26, 2006


Long-time Glendora resident, Maxine Coats Lentz, 92, passed away peacefully at Sunrise Assisted Living in Mission Viejo, California on Tuesday, December 26th, 2006.

She was born Maxine Elizabeth Coats on August 11th, 1914, in Chicago, Illinois, to Hugh L. Coats and Lenore Marie Rodgers Coats. She grew up in a warm, extended family in Wheaton, Illinois, where she attended Gary Memorial Methodist Church and was proud to be manager and head lifeguard at the Wheaton Community swimming pool.

In 1936, Maxine received a B.A. degree from Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa, where she participated in women’s athletics and served as Women’s Editor of the college magazine, The Malteaser. During WWII, she served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Marine Corps based in San Diego; her military specialty was Post Exchange Officer. She married Milo Heck in 1942, but was widowed when he died an accidental death just five years later. In 1950, she married Paul C. Lentz and lived with him in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, until they separated in 1957. From that time on, she was an independent woman, making her way in the world with characteristic spirit and determination.

She moved to California and fell in love with the beauty and small-town atmosphere of Glendora in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. She made her home there for the next 40 years, surrounded by her beloved books and Yorkie dogs, reading from her extensive library and swimming in the backyard pool that was her pride and joy. For the first 20 years, she shared her home with her widowed mother, Lenore, and together they hosted many Coats clan visits and gatherings.

Professionally, Maxine was an executive secretary and administrative assistant, famed for her attention to detail and her typing speed of 100+ wpm. Her primary employers were the Ray Ewing Co. and Hoffman LaRoche in Pasadena, CA. She was active in little theater, both as an actress and director, and volunteered her time directing inmates in plays at an area correctional facility. Maxine loved swimming, dogs of all kinds, and birds, but most of all she loved and revered books, and donated countless stacks of them to friends and libraries. She will be especially remembered for her indomitable spirit, her quick tongue, and the thousands of slippers she knit and gave year after year to family, friends, co-workers, shopkeepers, and anyone she heard of who was ill, injured or bereaved.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Milo Heck, her loving parents, Lenore and Hugh L. Coats, her sisters Dorothy Coats Brink and June Coats Rohrs, and her brother David Henry Coats. She is survived by her brother, Hugh L. Coats Jr. of Wayzata, Minnesota, her niece-companions Sunny Coats of California and Suli Rohrs Nee of Alaska, and an extended family of loving nieces and nephews from the Brink, Coats, and Rohrs families.

Maxine was laid to rest beside her parents in Wheaton Cemetery, Wheaton, Illinois, during a graveside family gathering on Thursday, January 4th, 2007. Arrangements were by O’Connor Laguna Hills Mortuary in California and Williams-Kampp Funeral Home in Illinois. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a contribution to your local library or animal shelter in Maxine’s memory. Condolences may be sent to Hugh L. Coats Jr. at 2103 Hill Road, Wayzata, MN 55391.

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9 responses to Maxine Coats Lentz

  1. Sweet Maxine. I used to beg Jim Rohrs Jr. for his slippers, and I knew I was part of Maxine’s extended family when I started getting my own slippers, this time in purple and sometimes in green. Since I am not the best housekeeper in the world -I learned this fine behavior from Maxine’s sister June- I wear my one remaining, tattered pair to keep my feet from getting black on my not-so-very tidy floors. I miss June and the Jims. I miss my slippers and Maxine. I am grateful to have been adopted by this wild, wonderful, funny and kind family. You have been such a part of my life. With gratitude, Bonnie

  2. Lee Minors says:

    So many people connected by slippers! As Suli says, that’s our hug from Aunt Maxine.

  3. Dearest family of Maxines, I share in your loss. I have been Maxine’s next door neighbor for 20 years, wow! So I may have gotten most of the slippers, especially after my 2 daughters were born. One size fits all in this family. I have passed on the news of her passing to many neighbors and of course the first thing out of their mouths were the “slippers”. My girls got a unique taste of Maxine’s stories and only wish now she was here to share more now that they are older to enjoy and understand, and I’m sure she could help me with some of their homework questions. My fondest memory of Maxine will always be her walking all those little dogs soo early in the morning and of course her love for her swimming pool, their was never a time limit on her swimming. She was a very nice neighbor and always treated us so good. She used to give my girls all the qizmo’s she would get in the mail and tell me not to give it to them unless they were good ha. So Hats off to Maxine I know she is resting in comfort because all she would talk about was her new home and how wonderful it was, thanx to Suli and Sunny for that good find. And to her brother Bud, she spoke of you often and missed being around the family. May we all be blessed for knowing Maxine and the loved one’s lost before her.
    Dawn, Dave, Paige & Brooke Hines

  4. Sally Wilson says:

    Aunt Maxine would have loved that family gathering, after the graveside memorial. A table full of Coatses all talking away about family is the truest tribute to her memory. Dad/Uncle Dave would be very proud of how faithfully you carried out her wishes. I was honored to be included, and will treasure the time spent with Uncle Bud and all my wonderful cousins.

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