At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Scotts United Methodist Church
8458 Wallene St
Scotts, MI 49088
Kalamazoo County Masonic Lodge
4371 W U Ave
Schoolcraft, MI 49087
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
For anyone who knew Barney Coville, it was clear to see that he enjoyed a simple, peaceful way of life. With an endless gift for gab, Barney was a friend of many and a stranger to none. By far his greatest joy was found in the family entrusted to his care, and his welcoming spirit and outgoing ways naturally drew others to his side. Although he will be dearly missed, Barney leaves much to be remembered.
While the nation struggled through the worst year of the Great Depression, the year 1933 saw an unprecedented U.S. jobless rate of over 15 million. At the same time, great strides were being made in the culture of America as Radio City Music Hall opened and The Ranger, the first U.S. aircraft carrier, was launched. FDR held his first “Fireside Chat” to boost the spirits of Americans while a thirst for entertainment was a welcome deviation from hard economic times. Despite the changes in the world around them, Harold and Luvera Coville found much to be thankful for on July 23, 1933, when they lovingly welcomed the birth of their son, Harold “Barney” Coville in Battle Creek, Michigan.
The third of eventually four children, Barney’s parents were hard working farmers who raised young Barney and his siblings, Annabelle, Lee, and Wendell on their family farm in the rural community of Vicksburg, Michigan. Like all young boys, Barney spent time attending the local schools and helping out on the farm, yet some of his favorite pastimes included spending time at his favorite fishing spots. His beloved dogs over the years made for the best companions, along with the lambs on the farm he was so fond of. During his high school years, Barney played football and ran track. He also worked at Bud’s Grocery Store along with tending to his regular farm chores.
After graduating from Vicksburg High School in 1953, Barney took a part-time job working at his brother’s gas station until enlisting in the U.S. Army. After proudly serving his country for two years, Barney returned home to Michigan where he settled in nearby Portage. He landed a job with the Clarage Fan Company, and as a young man, he did well for himself. He worked for Clarage for over 27 years.
Barney’s life was forever changed after being set-up on a blind date in Kalamazoo by some friends when he met his one true love, Dolores. Quite taken with each other from the moment they met, it was love at first sight. The two began dating and after three months, Barney asked for Dolores’ hand in marriage. They were engaged for the next three months and on August 30, 1957, merely six months after they had met, Barney and Dolores were married at the Methodist Church in Paw Paw.
The newlyweds began their new life together in a rented apartment in Kalamazoo before moving into a tenant house. For a time, they resided with Dolores’ grandparents until they came to have a home of their very own in Portage. Throughout these years, Barney and Dolores welcomed the addition of children into their lives with the births of Dan and Tammy. Family meant everything to Barney and he worked hard to make a good life for his wife and children. As a mechanical engineer, Barney worked at Bronson Hospital until retiring in 1995.
When Barney retired and their children were grown with lives of their own, Barney and Dolores settled in Vicksburg, Barney’s hometown. Always one to keep busy, Barney found much to keep occupied. He loved his hunting dogs, and he continued his love for hunting and fishing. Farming ran through Barney’s blood and on his property he tended to his large garden. With the fruits of labor, he loved having a vegetable stand. The pond he built provided loads of fun times teaching his grandkids how to fish, and he was quite talented when it came to woodworking, too. His property allowed Barney to divulge in his love for tractors, and he even had two of them restored to pristine condition which was always a conversation piece.
Barney shared the friendships of many. Well liked for his easy going nature and uplifting spirit, each summer he hosted a big Fourth of July celebration where everyone was welcome. A fun-loving fellow, Barney could strike up a conversation with anyone, about everything under the sun. Many of Barney’s good friendships included those he met through the Masons. For 50 years, he was a devoted Mason and a past member of the Brady Lodge. With quiet faith, he attended the Scotts United Methodist Church.
When grandchildren came along, Barney was in his element. He never missed any of his own children’s, as well as grandchildren’s activities, and he was extremely proud of each of them. The years were good to Barney and he considered himself blessed. He and Dolores shared a love for travel and they experienced exciting and memorable times on several cruises, and trips to Germany and Hawaii. Barney and Dolores enjoyed driving to their place in Zephyrhills, Florida.
It didn’t take much to put a smile on Barney’s face. He enjoyed the simple, peaceful pleasures in life, and he counted his family as his greatest blessing. Never without something to say or a kind word to share, Barney was a delight to know and love. For these things and so much more, he will be remembered with joy.
Barney Coville, age 82 of Vicksburg went to be with the Lord on May 6, 2016, at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo. His life ended as peacefully as he lived. Visit with his family and friends and view his life story film on Friday, May 13 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Vicksburg; 409 S. Main St. (269 649-1697). A funeral service will follow at 11:00 a.m. at the same location. Barney’s family includes his wife of 58 years, Dolores; his children: Dan (Trudy) Coville and Tammy (Robert) Cober; two brothers: Lee (Lori) Coville and Wendell (Linda) Coville, and a brother-in-law, Alfred Schiebner; four grandchildren: Jim, David, Dana and William as well as several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Annabelle. Please visit Barney’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can share a memory or photo and sign Barney’s memory book online. Memorial donations can be made to the Scotts United Methodist Church or to the Schoolcraft Masonic Temple.