Clifton “Kip” Coy
On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, Clifton Coy, beloved husband, father, brother, and grandfather, passed away at the age of 79 from Alzheimer’s disease. His final days were spent with his loving wife of over 58 years, Sharon Coy, along with many friends and family. The Olympic Alzheimer Residence’s exceptional staff provided him comfort during his final days, for which we are all truly grateful.
Kip was born September 14, 1940 in Tacoma, WA to Edwin and Bessie Lou Coy. He was one of seven siblings, two boys and five girls, which made for a lively and busy childhood. Kip and his siblings grew up loving the outdoors, which came in handy as they played outside, for years on a farm, complete with chickens running loose, no shortage of kids to play with, and what has been described as “limited parental supervision.” These childhood days clearly influenced Kip and led to his love of family gatherings and the outdoors.
On September 9, 1961 Kip married his wife Sharon Coy and shortly after graduated with a degree in history from Arizona State University. Sharon and Kip went on to have three children who grew up along the beaches of the Pudget Sound, WA. Kip’s life continued to focus on family, fun, and the outdoors. The time in between was devoted to starting up small businesses throughout his life, always named “KSM” after his three children, daughters Kimberly and Stephanie, and son Michael.
In his happiest moments Kip was entertaining family and friends at the “beach house”, only feet from the Puget Sound shore. He would take family out for boat rides, collect clams and mussels to BBQ for dinner, and taking long, always cold, swims in front of the house with his wife Sharon looking on from the porch. In later years, Kip would share his love of the beach with his seven grandchildren, who affectionally called him “Kippy”, constantly trying to coax them out for a swim, no matter what time of year it happened to be.
Kip was always one to leap first, think later. This casual attitude made him a frequent target by his grandchildren to get away things their parents would not allow. One of his more memorable and questionable decisions was when he bought his then 7-year-old granddaughter a pet chicken at a local farmers market. When asked why he replied, “she wanted one”.
In those rare times when Kip was not outside, he enjoyed reading books on American History and watching the History Channel. He was known for telling stories to anyone who would listen, usually with a loose consideration of the facts. As Alzheimer’s tightened its grip, Kip started to lose his long memory of historical stories. However, as his tales usually only included a modicum of truth and a generous amount entertainment, he carried on telling them without a hitch. These were dubbed “Kipp-erations” by family that enjoyed his stories but were never quite sure where reality ended, and fiction began. Kip single handily proved the adage that one should never let the truth stand in the way of a good story.
Kip was also a wonderful friend to Bill W. He volunteered at Remann Hall, the Juvenile Detention Center in Tacoma, focusing on helping youth affected by alcoholism. At the time of his death Kip had been sober for over 29 years, an accomplishment that made those who knew him very proud.
Clifton Coy is preceded in death by his parents, Edwin and Bessie Lou Coy, and his brother and sister-in-law Ed and Pat Coy, and brothers-in-law Donald Weber, Jim Wolfe and Bud Binam. Kip is survived by his wife, Sharon Coy, his three children Kimberly (Bob Adolfson) Coy, Stephanie Coren, and Michael (Stephanie) Coy, his sisters Molly Wolfe, Marny Weber, Maudie (Larry) Carlson, Mabel Binam, Maretta (Larry) Hiegel, and his seven grandchildren Meagan (Nick) Weiland, Kyle Adolfson, Sam Coren, Emily Coren, Claire Coren, Jack
Coy, and Jeff Coy.
Nicholas Sparks once said Alzheimer’s “is a thief of hearts and souls and memories.” We are comforted to know that Kip has now regained all that was once taken and is now regaling those in heaven with his famous stories.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that those interested please donate to the Alzheimer’s Association in Kip’s name.
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