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Myrna Jean (Erickson) Coan

March 10, 1940 ~ July 17, 2023 (age 83) 83 Years Old

Myrna Coan Obituary

Myrna Jean (Erickson) Coan 83, (b. 3/10/1940 d. 7/17/2023) passed away at her home in Pendleton on Monday, July 17, 2023

Myrna was born in Great Falls, Montana to Fred I. and Constance Erickson. The family moved to Hermiston in 1941 when her father was hired as the first safety engineer at the Ordinance Depot and was there until 1952 when the family moved to Pendleton to open Fred and Connie’s Ice Cream Shoppe. She worked at the store after school and weekends until the family sold it in 1958. She married Robert Forth of Rieth after high school, and they had four children: Mike, Joe, Chris and Cindy during their ten year marriage. She later married Charles Haugsted of Pendleton and they had two children, Colton and Cory. They were divorced in 1980. In 1985 Myrna married William Coan of Federal Way, WA, who she referred to as “the great love of my life”. Bill also had six children from a previous marriage, several of whom later became close to Myrna. Bill and Myrna were married for thirty one years and had many adventures in short trips they took around the Northwest and West Coast. She and Bill especially loved their travels in Montana. They lived in the South Puget Sound area for several years before moving to Newport, WA, where they developed many close friendships through their Lutheran church community. Bill passed on in 2013.

After Bill’s death, Myrna lived in Elma, WA and then recently, back in Pendleton, where she enjoyed getting reacquainted with old friends and spending time with her sister and with the three of her children who live in the area..

Myrna worked for over 40 years in health and human services, first as a ward supervisor at Eastern Oregon Training Center for many years, then for agencies in the South Puget Sound area while she worked on getting her Bachelor’s Degree, which she was very proud of. She retired after working for the Social Security Administration for ten more years. She developed many friendships during her career through her sense of humor and supportive mentoring.

Myrna loved and spoiled her children as well as the many she referred to as her “adopted” children, as well as her friends to whom she would always lend an understanding ear. She was famous wherever she lived for her care packages of home made breads, fudge, cookies and preserves given out at special events, birthdays and holidays, and when she thought you needed special attention. She loved a good yard sale, and her many “treasures” would have had her family referring to her as a hoarder except that she always kept an immaculately clean and beautifully decorated home. 

While she grieved her losses, which were many, she did not dwell in the past, was quick to forgive, and encouraged others to do the same. She lived in every moment with a sense of humor, and sometimes frustratingly so, looking “through rose colored glasses”, spinning the positive out of almost any situation. 

Myrna will be missed deeply by her her six children: Mike Forth; Chris Forth, both of Pendleton; Joe Forth (Ronald) of Medford, MA; Cindy Forth of Toledo, OH; Colton Haugsted of Elma, WA, and Cory (Kara) Haugsted of Waitsburg, WA; six step children; grandchildren: Makayla, Eryn, and Caleb Haugsted, and “adopted” family of Milo, Lyn and Austin McDonald and Jamie Holder of Seattle, WA: her sister, Sonja (Steve) Hart of Pendleton, and two nieces and three nephews. Predeceased are: her husband William Albert Coan; parents: Fred I. and Constance Erickson; brother: Vernon Erickson, and a grandson, Jessie Colton Haugsted.

A casual celebration of life gathering will be held on Sunday, July 23 from 1-3 p.m. at the Quaking Aspen Lanes at the Wildhorse Resort and Casino 46510 Wildhorse Blvd. Pendleton. Friends and family are invited to gather and to share their stories in celebration of Myrna's life. You may choose to wear something blue, her favorite color, in her honor. A memorial service will be held at 1:00p.m. on Friday, July 28, 2023 at the American Lutheran Church, 332801 U.S. Rte.2, Newport, Washington, 99156.

Myrna's remains will be cremated at her request, and her ashes will be split between inurnment along side her husband's remains at the Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA and on the Clark Fork of the Columbia River near Lolo, Montana.

Memorial contributions may be given in Myrna’s name to your local Humane Society 


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Celebration of Life
July 23, 2023

1:00 PM
Quaken Aspen Lanes
46510 Wildhorse Blvd
Pendleton, OR 97801

Memorial Gathering
July 28, 2023

1:00 PM
American Lutheran Church
33201 U.S. Rte 2
Newport, WA 99156


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