Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Earl Coats III, age 75

Earl Coats, III, age 75, went to be with the Lord on January 6, 2023, in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was born on February 6, 1947, in Altus, Arkansas, to the late Earl Coats, Jr., and Mary Sue Taylor Coats. 

He is survived by his wife Virginia Hughes Coats and his children Jill Rampley and husband Brian, Patrick Coats and wife Robin, Elisabeth Murray and husband Brandan, Abigail Coats, Joel Coats, and Jonathon Coats, as well as his siblings Suanne Morgan and husband Jack, John Coats and wife Kristie, and Jane Williamson and husband J.B., and two grandchildren. 

Earl was a devout Christian, an Eagle Scout, a graduate of Alma High School, and a loyal Razorback fan. He served in the Air National Guard where he was trained in photo intelligence and the US Navy where he used those skills. He was a Vietnam Veteran having served on the USS America (CVA/CV-66).

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, January 14, 2023 at 11:00am at Salem United Methodist Church; 1018 Salem Road, Conway, Arkansas 72034. A Graveside Service will be held at a later date at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

Arrangements by A Natural State Funeral Service 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076. 501-982-3400. Online guestbook available at


  • Karen Lange Posted January 10, 2023 1:14 PM

    I have such fond memories of Earl, known with fondness as Slug, as one of my amazing older cousins who I was always fascinated by and excited, and a bit apprehensive, when he showed up at Gran’s house or at one of the family gatherings. When I was young, Suanne and I were the only girls, until Jane arrived, in a slew of wild boys who always kept things interesting when we were gathering for family celebrations such as the Christmas Eve service at the Coal Hill Presbyterian church, for Gran’s and my brother Tom’s birthday they shared on the 27th of December, or to shoot fireworks in the school parking lot in front of her house. I have a vivid memory of Slug standing on the porch with red suspenders.. My love to his wife, his children and grandchildren, and his brother and sisters.

    • Virginia Coats Posted November 22, 2023 6:37 PM

      It took me a while to respond as Earl and I had a difficult marriage but as time goes by I can truly remember the good in my late husband and miss him too. He could really tell fascinating stories that were bigger than life. He was also a minister of the gospel and saw hundreds changed by the power of God working through him., but few acknowledged his abilities.

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