Margie Brandstetter Coates died peacefully in her home on January 19, 2020 at the age of 86. She showed unwavering dedication and love to her late husband Bob (married 51 years); her four children, Mary (Tom) James, Bob (Mel) Coates, Beth (Rip) Sullivan, Becky (Chris) Garland; eleven grandchildren, Ben, Corey, Ryan, Jack, Emily, Joey, Meg, Anna Marie, Sam, Robbie and Jamie and three great-grandchildren. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio the youngest of eight, Margie had a strong sense of family and was much loved and respected by everyone whose life she touched.
Margie moved to the Washington, DC area in 1966 to support her husband’s dream of making an impact in Civil Rights. A devout Catholic, she and Bob were founding members of Pax. This community deepened the faith of its participants and cultivated lasting friendships. In addition to being a devoted wife and mother, Margie was a progressive businesswoman, owning and running clothing stores and a homemade ice cream store. She also relished her years as a kindergarten teacher.
While she enjoyed working, family was her greatest joy and lasting legacy. Margie was the glue and advisor on all topics from healthcare, childcare and cooking to investing and the latest news. She encouraged an “investment in memories” through frequent family dinners, brunches and vacations to OBX and Disney.
Margie showered her eleven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren with unconditional love. Answering to Mema, Mimi or Grandma, she marveled at each child’s unique qualities and treasured time spent together. She understood the importance of “being there” for moments small and large, prioritizing birthday parties, pre-school drives, school plays and concerts, sporting events, museum visits and zoo trips.
A longtime cancer survivor, Margie was a role-model in adapting to its aftermath with grace and humor. She cherished friendships with fellow survivors from INOVA’s Life with Cancer and her Red Hat group.
Margie cultivated and was surrounded by love throughout her life. She will be deeply missed. Her funeral will be held at St. James Catholic Church, Falls Church, VA at 12pm, Saturday, February 8th. Those who wish to make a memorial gift may donate to Life with Cancer (in memory of Margie Coates), a cancer education and support organization or COVER vetcover.org , the veteran transition support and re-adjustment counseling non-profit passionately led by her daughter, Mary, for more than 40 years.