Born Stella Aladeen Bray on January 29, 1926 in West Point Park near Olympia, Wash., to Walter and Pearlee Bray. Aladeen grew up in South Bay, Wash., on a small farm and was the third of nine children. She is survived by four siblings. In 1939 she moved to Burien where she attended Highline High School, worked part-time as a waitress. During World War II, because of her small size, she was employed at Boeing as a “rivet bucker” in the wings of airplanes.
Around 1943 she moved with her family to Lopez Island to the property where the golf course is now located. She married her first husband, John Oliver Cochran in 1945 and settled in to life on Lopez as a housewife, running the family farm while her husband John fished during the summer. She also worked at Richardson Store for several years. Aladeen and John had four children, Larry Oliver, Susanne Jeanne, Lonny Eugene and Lyn Edward. Aladeen was very involved in her community and taught Sunday School and was a 4-H leader in several projects over the years.
In the early 1960’s Lopez started a preschool program and Aladeen was the first teacher in the program, teaching in a house donated by the Ellis Ranch. She later worked at Lopez School as a teacher’s assistant in the special education programs and during the summer vacations worked on maintenance at the school. Children and their education were very important to Aladeen and she went on to help sponsor two high school scholarships, the Joe Fox Memorial fund for music and the Perseverance and Determination Award given to Lopez High School seniors.
After being single for many years she married Lawrence Coffelt in 1987. They spent their retirement years together happily, traveling when they could, collecting treasures along the way and most always surrounded by family and grandchildren. Aladeen loved her family first especially her grandchildren, friends, children, the outdoors, music, learning and education, good food, picnics, potlucks and Lopez Island. She loved spending as much of her time as possible with family and friends chatting, visiting, sharing stories and a good meal.
She met life with determination, a positive attitude, a smile, wink, a hug and a kiss. Aladeen passed away peacefully at home on Aug. 2, 2012.
She is survived by three children, Larry, Susanne and Lonny and their families, many grandchildren and great grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Her son Lyn preceded her in death.
Please join her family as we celebrate her wonderful life on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012 at 3 p.m. at Lopez Island Community Church. A potluck will follow in the Fellowship Hall.