On Saturday, April 6, 2019, Coral Royce Collette, 91, peacefully reunited with his wife of 62 years. He passed away in his sleep during the early hours in the comfort of his home in Tehachapi, Calif. A memorial service will be held at the Church of the Nazarene in Tehachapi, Calif., on Friday, April 12, 2019, at 11 a.m. and will be officiated by Pastor Robert Brooks. Viewing is scheduled at 10 a.m. at the same location. After the memorial service, a graveside service will be held at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Bakersfield, Calif., as his final resting place.
Born Dec. 5, 1927, Coral was the youngest of three and lived in Kirk, Colo. He was born to Carl Edward Collette and Marion Lorene Collette-Darling. Coral's name was carefully thought out. Having read a newspaper article, his mother was impressed by the credentials of a man named Coral and proudly gave that name to her son. Residing in the eastern part of Colorado, the Collette family worked hard tending their farm, primarily made up of winter wheat on a section of land.
Upon entering high school, Coral moved to his uncle's farm to be closer to the school one and a half miles away. This living arrangement was not free; he was up at the crack of dawn every morning to milk the cows and deliver the milk, sometimes pulling it in a wagon. His days were long and full of hard work, both physically and academically. This hard work paid off when he earned the award of Valedictorian in his high school graduating class.
After high school, Coral ventured to Pasadena, Calif., to attend Pasadena College, a private Nazarene college. During this time, the United States was in the middle of World War II. After his freshman year, Coral returned to Colorado and joined the army, putting his sophomore year on hold. He was assigned as a driver for the Colonel and other army officers. After the war, he returned to Pasadena College and received a bachelor of arts in business administration with a concentration in accounting and a minor in psychology with cum laude honors.
In 1952, he met his wife, Barbara, and they were married on June 6, 1953. They celebrated 62 years of marriage and raised five children, three girls and two boys.
Coral was dedicated to serving in the Nazarene church. He volunteered for many roles including usher, board member, Sunday school superintendent, treasurer, Sunday school teacher, greeter, and counter of tithe and offering money. If anyone needed a ride to church, Coral graciously offered.
Coral spent over four decades working as an accountant at Air Logistics Corporation and retired just before his 70th birthday. He was an honest, trustworthy, and dedicated employee to the company.
Coral was a servant of God, first and foremost. He accepted Jesus in his life at the age of seven and lived out his life following the principle of J.O.Y: Jesus, Others, Yourself. He devoted his life to his family and those in need, often sacrificing his dreams. He was honorable, admirable, tender hearted, and loving to all.
Coral is survived by his five children, LaVonne, Karen, Craig, Boyd, and Roberta; his seven grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
Wood Family Funeral Service, Inc. is handling the arrangements. For condolences, please visit woodmortuary.net.