Theodore Leland “Ted” Coffelt, 92, of Houstonia, passed away Friday, March 6, 2020, at Bothwell Regional Health Center.
Born May 7, 1927, in Moniteau County, he was one of seven children of James Oliver and Bessie (McBroom) Coffelt.
Ted began high school in Lincoln and graduated from Houstonia. He believed deeply in the value of education—a belief that was shaped by his family’s effort to prioritize school, despite challenges that came with being a rural student in the 1930s and ‘40s.
In 1945, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. During World War II, he was stationed in Rome, Vienna, and Tripoli. After honorable discharge, he enrolled in Missouri Valley College in Marshall where he would go on to meet Helen I. Vers and earn a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and, later return for a Bachelor’s in Education.
On March 25, 1951, in Longwood, he was united in marriage with Helen. This union was blessed with three sons: Theodore “Ted” Coffelt Jr., Terry W. Coffelt, and Stephen S. Coffelt.
Ted earned his Master’s in Education from Central Missouri State University in 1955. During his career, he served as a Superintendent of Schools in Alma, worked for Harper-Row, and ended in administration for the Missouri Department of Mental Health. All the while, Helen taught music in local public schools and they contributed to their communities in central Missouri. Ted was a member of Rangeline Presbyterian Church.
In 2000, Ted and Helen left Sedalia to move to Ted’s childhood home on a farm north of town. There, he spent two decades focusing on soil health and crop yields, while Helen’s garden seemed to expand in size almost every year. The end of Ted’s life was full of love for the land, his family, and his community.
Surviving are his wife of 68 years, Helen; two sons, Ted Coffelt Jr., of Houstonia, and Terry Coffelt (Patti) of Columbia; daughter-in-law, Janice Coffelt, of Russellville; two grandchildren, Allison K. Coffelt (Britt Hultgren), of Columbia and Salt Lake City, UT, and Scott L. Coffelt, of Columbia and Kansas City; and a sister, Bernadean Mitchell, of Houstonia.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Stephen Coffelt in 2016; three brothers, Harold, Floyd, and William Coffelt; and two sisters, Dorothy Stone and Mary Jo Fischer.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at Heckert Funeral Home, with Pastor Bobbie Karchner officiating.
Casket bearers will be Paul Coffelt, Russell Mitchell, Jim Van Horn, Britt Hultgren, Scott Coffelt and Dustin Meyer.
Burial will be in Bethlehem Cemetery near Marshall Junction. Military honors will be conducted by the United States Air Force and VFW Post 2591.
A visitation will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 9, 2020, at Heckart Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Rangeline Presbyterian Church or to the Sedalia School District Foundation Coffelt Family Scholarship.