New Windsor suffered a significant loss during this holiday season as the town’s longtime water and sewer consultant died the day after Christmas.
Jack Coe, 79, served the town for 60 years, according to New Windsor Mayor Neal Roop, who described Coe’s death as “a tremendous loss to our community in so many ways.”
Coe died at Frederick Memorial Hospital, surrounded by his family, after battling an illness.
Coe was born in 1940 in New Windsor, and he attended New Windsor High School. After he graduated in 1958, he attended Frederick Community College, then served in the United States Army from 1963 to 1965, according to his obituary posted on Hartzler Funeral Home’s website.
Coe was involved in New Windsor in multiple ways, not only as a water and sewer consultant, but also as the owner as master plumber for DP Smelser and Son Inc. in New Windsor; through JC Printing, a printing company he started with his wife; and as a life member of the New Windsor Fire House and Co. #1, where he served in multiple offices.
It is because of the many hats Coe wore that Roop described him as “a true asset to the town in many ways.”
Coe’s sons, David and Thomas, knew not only the importance of their dad to New Windsor, but also the importance of New Windsor to their dad.
“I like to think of him as Mr. New Windsor,” Thomas said. “He was very proud of the small town he lived in and grew up in. He had a real sense of community through his service with the Lions Club, the New Windsor fire department and several other civic organizations. He was really out to help people who needed help, whether that was through the fire service and providing fire protection or EMS care, whether that was the Lions Club and providing events for children and things like that; he always had an eye for trying to help people.”
“It was his life. He loved the little town, the community feel,” David said. “He was always there for the town, the community and the people.”
Both of Coe’s son’s career paths were influenced by looking up to him.
“My father is one of my most major mentors in my life, as I’ve gone to join the volunteer service in New Windsor and eventually progressing to the career fire service in Frederick County,” said Thomas, who serves as the New Windsor fire chief. “The way he operated with folks and his bedside manner and his calm demeanor in chaos were things that I watched as a small child and tried to emulate as I grew older, and it boded me well in my career path.”
“I was able to run calls with him and through them and developed like a special bond,” said David, who serves as lieutenant career firefighter for Frederick County. “I don’t think a lot of people — a lot of kids — have fathers or parents that let you experience that kind of stuff.”
According to Roop, Coe was respected by members of the New Windsor community.
Coe’s interactions with the town were different compared to that of his family. According to Roop, Coe’s “sense of humor was drier than the Sahara Desert,” but according to David, he had a great sense of humor and even dressed up as a clown when he was younger.
“He would also keep us grounded through his humor and different things he would do to make us laugh," David said.
Coe was survived by his wife, Judy Koontz Coe; two sons, Thomas E. Coe and wife Wendy, and David A. Coe, all of New Windsor; grandchildren, Natalie G. and Ryan E. Coe; sister Barbara E. Six and husband Stuart of New Windsor; and several nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends at Windsor Station, at 101 High St. in New Windsor on Sunday, Dec. 29, from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m., and a Lions Club memorial service will be held at 8 p.m., followed by a fire department memorial service. The family will also receive friends at Windsor Station on Monday, Dec. 30 from 9 to 11 a.m., followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m. Then there will be a military interment in Pipe Creek Cemetery.