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Celeste "Ces" (Gorham) Coakley

June 23, 1918 ~ June 22, 2018 (age 99)

Celeste G. Coakley passed away in her sleep on June 22, 2018 – a day prior to her one hundredth birthday. She was preceded in death by her parents, Pearl and Ashby Gorham; her high school sweetheart and husband of fifty-eight years, William C. Coakley; and her daughter-in-law, M. Brooke Coakley. She is survived by her son, Wayne C. Coakley; her daughter, Gere’ Lynn Riley and son-in-law, COL (USA-Ret) Philip Riley; grandson, Brendan J. Coakley and his wife Karen; Brendan’s brother Andrew Baker; grandchild, Troy McCall; step grandchildren, Andrew Riley, Rebecca Baker and Kathleen Peterson; and Celeste’s closest friend, June Van Atta.

Celeste, or “Ces” as she was known to younger generations, was a native of Alexandria, VA –born and raised in Old Town. She was a member of the last graduating class of Alexandria High School where she captained the Women’s Cadet Corps and played four years of Varsity Basketball. She lived in the same house on the edge of Del Ray for seventy-five years. Before and after raising her children, she was a member of the Alexandria business community working first for Fannon Oil Co. and then Atchison Fuel Co. She was a founding member of the Alexandria Lioness Club. Celeste was also a lifelong member of the First Baptist Church of Alexandria.

Celeste had an insatiable curiosity, loved travel and good food, read constantly, maintained awareness of world affairs and was an avid sports fan, particularly the Virginia Tech Hokies and Washington Redskins. She was a devoted soccer grandmother for Brendan and Troy through all the years they played. Above all else, she was a loving and caring mother, grandmother, “den mother”, bosom friend, and companion. The door of her home was always open to all and once you were her friend it was for life. All who knew her are better people for the experience.

The family would like to extend particular thanks to the staff of the Cardinal Wing of The Virginian for the kindness and care they provided to Celeste in her final years.

A visitation will be held at Everly Wheatley Funeral Home from 5:00-8:00PM on July 6th, 2018. The funeral service will be held at the funeral home on July 7th at 10:00AM followed by the interment at National Memorial Park in Falls Church, VA.

Ces loved her great-grand-dogs Eoghan and Shanti, and she took great pleasure in their visits. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the ASPCA (https://www.aspca.org/ways-to-give) or animal welfare organization of your choice is suggested.


Donations may be made to:

ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Web: http://www.aspca.org/ways-to-give


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