Thora Julane Wilson Coyer died on Labor Day, September 7, 2020 after one hundred and three years of life. She resided at South Shore Care Center at the time of her passing. Julane is predeceased by her eight siblings: sisters, Carmen, Lola Mae and Barbara and brothers, Jerald, Woodrow, Gordon, Sanford, and Douglas. She was born on February 12, 1917 in Winnebago County, Iowa near Thompson Village, on a cold morning, a scrawny child, not expected to survive pneumonia, but saved by her stepmother. She was christened Thora Julane because her mother wanted to remember her grandmothers and devised “Julane” to honor them both. At a very early age her mother and father recognized the importance of faith in her life and attended the Methodist Episcopal Church in Granada. She built her faith on that foundation.
Her parents, Jacob and Geneva Wilson, moved to Granada, Minnesota where Julane attended District 80 school and was inspired by her teacher to become and educator, reading every book in the excellent library. She continued at Granada High School and then to Normal Training in Fairmont and became a teacher, prepared at eighteen years to serve Minnesota’s rural school children. The Wilsons moved in 1935 to Round Lake, Minnesota and Julane began to teach in Nobles and Jackson Counties one-room schools.
In Round Lake, Julane met Byron Coyer, a young local man and farmer. They fell in love and married on February 25, 1939 and lived in a small three-room home on the Coyer farm in Indian Lake Township, near Round Lake. Byron helped his father while Julane continued to teach. In 1943, their only child, Brian, was born and they moved shortly thereafter to a farm north of Round Lake where Julane and family resided until moving back to the Coyer family farm which she and Byron purchased in 1952. After Brian’s birth, Julane took a short leave from teaching, but resumed her education service at Ewington School, Jackson County.
Because Julane started with one year of normal training and desired to continue as a teacher, she continued her education by attending summer school, Saturday classes, and Monday night classes until she received her two-year college degree in 1953 from Mankato State College. She started teaching in the Round Lake Public Schools in 1956 but continued her education at Mankato State College, where she obtained her bachelors degree in education in 1963. She continued to teach in Round Lake until she retired in 1965. She served as the elementary principal for several years, as well as the Head Start administrator for the school system. Prior to retiring from Round Lake, however, Julane was inspired to teach in an urban school, spending one year at Sheridan School in the Minneapolis Public School System. She was supported by her husband, who visited often along with Brian who was in St. Paul, and always said it was a good year, but she was persuaded to return to Round Lake (after one year in the Sibley, Iowa, school system) from which she retired.
Julane’s life with Byron after retirement was spent in their new home by Indian Lake and in traveling, with the enjoyment of many friends and family and the enrichment of their life at the United Methodist Church in Worthington, where they thrived. Julane maintained close ties with her sisters and brothers and their children, with whom she shared a mutual regard, love, respect and faithfulness. Toward the end of her life, these nephews’ and nieces’ support sustained her. There are too many friends to mention with whom she shared her life and those friendships remained. Among many places, Julane and Byron traveled to the Holy Land, to the United Kingdom, to India to visit Brian, and to Iran to visit family. Perhaps as special as any of this was their time together in California, where they reconnected with the Coyers who migrated to southern California, particularly Mary Jane, Irene and Delbert Charles (“Chuck”) and their families.
Julane is survived by her son, Brian, his children (her grandchildren) Jesse, Freya, Anna and Bridget, and great grandchildren Maya, Colin from Jesse and Iskander, from Freya. Julane was a woman of great faith, firmness and kindness. She devoted her life to the education of many children and their children through the years. She will be remembered and missed by all who knew her well. Her funeral will be held at The United Methodist Church, Worthington, Minnesota, on the morning of Saturday, September 12. Details to to finalized.