William “John” Coila, Jr. departed Sept 1, 2017. at his homestead in Homer, Alaska. Born in Vancouver, Washington on Feb. 3, 1948, to Bill and Eylah Coila, he grew up enjoying the forests of Chelatchie Prairie, Washington.

In 1980, John drove the Al-Can to its end and found himself in Homer, Alaska. His quirky nature, beaming smile and glittering blue eyes quickly made him new friends and family. 

He’d found the peace and laughter for which he’d been searching.

John lived his life exactly how he had always dreamed, achieving the homesteading life with a woman who enjoyed the lifestyle as much as he. Many years as a fisherman, woodsman, building contractor, farmer and a short stint as a chemical engineer, he gained skills that lent to successfully creating his Coila Homestead. 

It was his perfect world, and on July 9th, 2016, John completed his dream of love and homesteading, when he married his beloved, Deborah. Known as “Pa” and “Grampa Grizzly Bear,” John was very proud of all his children and felt that they are his greatest legacy. 

He leaves with us his children and grandchildren. His daughters: Mahealani, Makani, Jennifer, Heather and Amber. His sons: Kahala, Matthew and Joshua. His grandchildren: Isabella, Keanae, Helela, Ka’aha and Iliahi. John is also survived by his sisters, Kathy and Joyce; and his brothers, Erik, Leroy, Rick and Chris. 

He is preceded in death by his brother, Scott; his sister, Colleen; his mother and father; his first wife, Mary Jane; and his granddaughter, Kahea. 

In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made in his memory at First National Bank of Alaska to “Coila Homestead.” 

All funds will be used to complete outstanding projects at the Coila Homestead. Please join us to share memories and cheers at the Homer Elks Lodge #2127, 215 Jenny Way Homer, Alaska on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. 

Doors to open at 3 p.m. Services to begin at 4 p.m. Potluck welcome.