William Andrew Coates
William Andrew Coates died peacefully in his sleep Saturday (Feb. 15, 2020) in Saint Petersburg, Fla. He was 90. The cause of death was complications from Alzheimer's.
While en route to a teaching fellowship in graduate school, a position as purchasing agent at Westinghouse Electric Corp. opened. He took it and began a 40-year career with the company. His advancement there was steady: director of corporate purchasing (1962), general manager of compagnie des dispositifs semiconducteurs in LeMans, France (1969), general manager of the electronic tube division (1973), president and general manager of Westinghouse Elevator Co. (1976). In 1975 he was elected a vice president of Westinghouse Electric Corp., and in 1981 was awarded the corporation's highest honor for individual achievement - the Westinghouse Order of Merit. He retired in 1989 as executive vice president of technology, quality, and corporate services. He was instrumental in bringing a focus on quality to Westinghouse's operations.
Born in Turtle Creek, Pa., his family soon moved to Sharon, where he lived through high school. He attended Ohio State University, and Hiram College, graduating from Westminster College with degrees in mathematics and English.
He married his high school sweetheart, Gladys Sorg, in 1949. They raised three sons and were married for 65 years.
Bill taught and demonstrated to his sons the value of hard work, saving, and the Golden Rule. He was an avid reader and student of investment principals in retirement but focused on his family.
He loved Thanksgiving gatherings in Pittsburgh and began a tradition of taking his five young grandchildren, dressed to the nines, to an upscale downtown restaurant followed by a Pittsburgh Philharmonic concert at Heinz Hall, just the six of them. He looked forward to each grandchild turning 14 when he would take them on a 4 to 5-day visit to the city or attraction of their choice, and he spent much effort organizing a week-long family reunion every two years at wonderful family resorts. He simply enjoyed being with his family and would be smiling and laughing when they were all together.
Bill was predeceased by his wife, Gladys, and son, David, and survived by sons Steven and Paul and grandchildren Emily, Kimberly, Allison, Justin, and Jennifer.
Never fond of being the center of attention, Bill's wishes were for a service of the immediate family only. As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent to The Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Assoc. Inc. at www.alz.org.
Tributes may be viewed and added at www.brettfuneralhome.net.
Published on February 24, 2020


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