SHIRLEY -- Dr. Sherman L. Coates D.V.M., 90, of Shirley, died Sunday, May 23, 2010 at the Nashoba Valley Medical Center, Ayer.
His wife, Doris J. (Howard) Coates, died in 1984.
He is survived by three sons, Scott L. Coates and Jerrie B. Coates II both of Shirley, Tabor W. Coates of Acton, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Besides his family, he leaves a very close friend Vicki Harwood.
He was the brother of the late Hyland Coates of Fitchburg and Ellen Henrickson of Florida.
Dr. Coates was born in Fitchburg, January 6, 1920, a son of Jerrie B. and Florence E. (Tapply) Coates and has resided in Shirley for over sixty years.
Following his graduation from Fitchburg High School, he continued his studies at Middlesex University School of Veterinary Medicine in Waltham, Massachusetts. In 1947, Middlesex University merged with Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine, Boston.
During WW II, Dr. Coates served his country for three years as a medic in the United States Army attaining the rank of technical sergeant. He was involved in the D-Day Invasion at Normandy in June 1944. He was awarded the WWII Victory Medal, Asiatic - Pacific Campaign Medal, The Good Conduct Medal, and the French Croix de Guerre Medal.
In 1950, Dr. Coates went on to open for nearly five decades operated the Shirley Animal Hospital in Shirley, retiring in 1997.
He was a former member of several Professional Veterinary Associations as well as a Charter Member of the Shirley Lions Club. He held a private pilot's license and enjoyed flying well into his eighties. He was a member of the "Shirley Crowhoppers".
Dr. Coates was extremely clever and quite handy. He constructed his own home, two "ultra light" planes which he flew for years as well as a cabin cruiser that he made in his attic and, upon completion, moored at Lake Winnipesaukee. On his eightieth birthday, he went hang gliding.
COATES -- Dr. Coates' family will receive family and friends from 5-8 Thursday, May 27th at the T.J. Anderson Funeral Home, 25 Fitchburg Road, Ayer. (Rte 2A) Please see www.andersonfuneral.com for additional information. Burial will be private. Memorial contributions may be made to the MSPCA -Angell Animal Medical Center, 350 South Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02130.