Beloved mother of seven, Freda Mae Fillinger Coats, 87, of Bellefontaine, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, March 2, 2014, at Logan Acres Care Center.
She was born and raised near Ridgeway on July 3, 1926, to the late George and Myra Evaughn Stevenson Penhorwood.
She married Charles R. Fillinger in Greenup, Ky., and raised her family for several years on a farm outside Ridgeway, where she was a devoted homemaker and mother.
On Feb. 14, 1975, she married Thurman Coats and he preceded her in death on May 9, 1991. She also was preceded in death by a daughter, Carol Myers; two sons, William Ray Fillinger and Michael Fillinger; a son-in-law, Don Myers; her sister, Hazel Beaver; three brothers, Nelson Penhorwood, Kermit Penhorwood and Ray Penhorwood; sister-in-law, Phoebe Penhorwood; and brother-in-law, Harry Beaver.
Survivors include three daughters, Rita Jo (Dan) Crabtree of Columbus, Mary Jean (Allan) McGee of Reynoldsburg and Peggy (Dave) Harris of Rushsylvania; a son, Bob (Diana) Fillinger of Rushsylvania; 19 grandchildren; 39 great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; a stepdaughter, Sandy (Jim) Foster of Richwood; a stepson, Mike Coats of West Mansfield; sister-in-law, Wanda Penhorwood of Urbana; special family friend, David Garner of Columbus; and many nieces and nephews.
She worked for Ike’s Great American Restaurant, formerly known as the L&K Restaurant, as well as the Plaza Inn in Mt. Victory. She was a waitress for 30 years from 1965 to 1995.
An active member of the First Christian Church of Bellefontaine and the Christian Women’s Club, she was involved in the Friendly Senior Center and served her community well. She volunteered at Mary Rutan Hospital for the guild and was an avid blood donor. She was a “regular” for coffee at McDonald’s South and Shawnee Springs. She loved and adored the Bill Gaither vocal band and enjoyed fishing, water aerobics, and bus trips with the Friendly Seniors.
The Revs. Mike Valentine and Gene Phelps officiate a funeral at 11 a.m. Thursday at Mannasmith- Schnurrenberger Funeral Home, West Mansfield, where visitation is from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Burial is in Byhalia Cemetery.