Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Helen "Janet" Coe


November 21, 2019

Helen “Janet” Coe, 80, of Sturgis, South Dakota, passed away on November 12, 2019, surrounded by loved ones at the Lippold Hospice Suite at Sturgis Regional Hospital in Sturgis.

Helen Janet (Witcher) Coe was born October 4, 1939, to Edward “Platt” Witcher and Helen (Green) Witcher in Bison, South Dakota. She graduated high school from Sundance, Wyoming.

Janet had one sister, Joan (Witcher) Kokesh. Janet was previously married to Vernon Coe and had three children, Jody (Coe) Pekas of Rapid City, South Dakota, Kim Coe of Vale, South Dakota and Ken Coe of Newnan, Georgia.

Janet has always been a hard worker from a young age, working on the ranch near Aladdin, Wyoming, with her mother and sister. Later on, she worked for various government agencies and eventually for the postal service, where she retired as postmaster in 1991. After her retirement, Janet continued to work as a bank teller in Sturgis and in most recent years, she volunteered many hours at the Senior Center thrift store in downtown Sturgis.

Besides her work ethic, Janet “Gramma Coe” will be remembered for her contagious smile and full-hearted laugh, always dressed up, hair done and lipstick on.

She will be remembered for her chocolate chip cookies, popcorn balls, fudge, cheesecake, French toast, her special graham cracker cookies with frosting and a block of melted butter on top of everything! She will be remembered for her avid book reading, playing the piano and accordion, her beautiful flowers and plants, thrift shopping, letter writing and never forgetting to send a birthday card.

She may have called you “sis” or “honey” and always had a cup of coffee and cream to offer! Family and friends all agree she was admirable, strong, independent and touched the lives of everyone that had the pleasure of knowing her. 

Janet is survived by daughter, Jody Pekas; son, Kim Coe and wife, Patti (Kopp) Coe; son, Ken Coe and wife, Melissa (Kuehl) Coe; as well as her nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren; and sister, Joan Kokesh.

Janet was preceded in death by her parents, Edward “Platt” Witcher and Helen Witcher Roth; stepfather, Elmer Roth; brother-in-law, Joe Kokesh; son-in-law, Vic Zepeda; grandchildren, Trent Coe and Byron Crown; and great-grandchildren, Robert and Ella Brunson.

Funeral services were Saturday, November 16, 2019, at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis with Reverend Bruce Baum officiating. Graveside services followed at Rose Hill Cemetery in Spearfish.

Condolences may be sent to the family at


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