Bryce Everett Coggins, 92, of Ladysmith, passed away Saturday, June 1, 2019 at Care Partners Assisted Living in Ladysmith.
Bryce was born Aug. 9, 1926, to George Eldon Coggins and Laura Elizabeth Dunn Coggins, the sixth of 10 children. He grew up on a farm in Grow Township and attended Cloverland School and Tony High School, where he graduated in 1944. In high school he played baseball and basketball and belonged to the boxing team.
While war raged, upon graduation he was not immediately inducted into the military. Instead he contributed by helping to produce food for a hungry nation. He was, though, on his way home from an army physical in Milwaukee in August 1945 when, at a stop in Tomah, he learned that victory had been declared over Japan.
After the war he worked with his father and brothers on the family dairy farm until, in 1950, he purchased a nearby farm and struck out on his own with a herd of mostly registered guernseys. On May 31, 1951 he married Patricia Ann Weston at the First Church of Christ in Ladysmith. They raised six children and several foster children at the farm along County P, living there together until Patricia passed in 2012. Bryce and Pat were married 61 years.
As a life-long member of the First Church of Christ, Bryce served there as a dedicated elder and leader, and also taught Sunday School for over 50 years. He was a dealer of DeKalb Seed for more than 25 years. After liquidating his dairy herd in 1993, for 18 years he worked as a delivery driver for Meals on Wheels in Rusk County.
Bryce was also an avid life-long reader and learner. He especially enjoyed the study of history, and biographies of historical figures. In his later years he turned to writing, specializing in stories and poems of life on the farm and his youth. Many of his stories have been published in various outlets, especially The Country Today.
For many years he served as treasurer for the Town of Grow. He gave blood throughout his life, a total of several gallons. He was a passionate fan of the Green Bay Packers and the Wisconsin Badgers.
Bryce and Pat raised six children: Rachel Louise (Bob) Lent of Wisconsin Rapids, David Allen (Laura) Coggins of Manitowoc, Amy Jo (Terry) Johnson of Chippewa Falls, Yvonne Marie (Gary) Stott of Lake Zurich, Ill., Jay Steven (Wendy Rahn) Coggins of St. Paul, Minn. and Janet Sue (Paul) Hetke of Ladysmith. Bryce and Pat were foster parents to seven foster children.
Bryce is survived by two sisters, Connie Cooper of Sheldon and Ruth Koditek of Palatine, Ill.; his six children and their spouses; by 14 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren and a host of other family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; seven siblings: Lois, Alice, Marion, Wayne, Phyllis, Gerald, and Roland; his son-in-law Bob Lent; and his grandson.
Visitation will be held starting at 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 6 at Nash-Jackan Funeral Home, 120 Fritz Ave. E. A memorial service with Pastor Brian Chitwood officiating will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, June 7 at Faith United Methodist Church, W8125 Shady Lane with visitation one hour before, also at Faith UMC.
Bryce’s family wishes to express their deep appreciation to all of the caring professionals at Care Partners and at Lakeview Medical Center Home Health and Hospice for their extraordinary compassion in caring for him in recent months. Rather than flowers, memorial gifts can be directed to the Muscular Dystrophy Association at www.mda.org, or to Christian Harbor Youth Camp of Holcombe.