Ethel Arlene Coffeen John was born April 2, 1922, at Dorrance, Kansas, the ninth of eleven children born to Frank and Adelia (Weaver) Coffeen. Ethel, or “Pink” as she was called by everyone, attended schools in Dorrance, graduating from Dorrance High School with the Class of 1940.
On September 24, 1942, Pink married Ernest M. John of Natoma, Kansas. The couple first resided in Dodge City, Kansas, where Ernie began his World War II duties with the United States Air Force. While in Dodge City, Pink was employed by the W.W. Virtue Store at the Dodge City location selling ready-to-wear. She remained in Dodge City for the duration of the war while Ernie served his country at home and abroad.
Following the end of World War II and Ernie’s discharge from the Air Force, the couple moved to Ernie’s hometown of Natoma, Kansas, where they became owners of a business later known as Natoma Motor Sales, Inc. Ernie and Pink were partners in a successful Ford dealership for many years, and their efforts contributed greatly to the local business community. The business’s success was due, in part, to Pink’s office management and accounting skills. As a testament to her abilities, the Ford Motor Company issued a letter of commendation to Pink for her excellence in accounting. Ernie and Pink were married 58 years before Ernie’s death in 2001. During their marriage, Pink and Ernie enjoyed playing cards and going to the lake with their friends and their cats. They were active members of Peace Lutheran Church, and Pink was involved with the Natoma Legion Auxiliary.
In 2008, Pink moved to Vintage Place in Russell, Kansas, which she enjoyed calling “home” until her health failed in May of 2013, when she moved to Wheatland Nursing Center in Russell. Pink passed away July 21, 2013, at the age of 91.
Preceding Pink in death, in addition to her parents and husband; brothers Ralph, Verne, John and Walter, and sisters Leta Coffeen, Florence Cook, Laura Heinze, Edith Friebus and Gilberta Dryden.
She is survived by her brother Gilbert (Jack) Coffeen and his wife, Irene; brother and sister in-laws Rita Dreiling of Russell, Martin John of Tory, Utah, Connie Sloan of Lander, Wyoming, Marian John of Rocklin, California and Ida John of Roseville, California; nine nephews and seven nieces; 7 great nieces and nephews and many friends including former Natoma neighbors Al and Dorothy Plante and Darla.
A graveside service to celebrate Pink’s life will be held at 11 A.M. on Tuesday, July 30, 2013, at the Natoma City Cemetery in Natoma, Kansas, with Pastor Michael Schmidt officiating. Cremation has been selected and the ashes will be inurned following the graveside service. Memorials can be given to the Peace Lutheran Church or the Natoma American Legion Auxiliary and sent in care of the mortuary. Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell is in charge of the funeral service arrangements.