Darrell Maurice Coats, founder of Jan-Kay Ranch Christian Camps, Inc., went home to be with his Lord Jesus Christ on December 28, 2020. Affectionately known as “Granddad” by his family and the thousands of youths who used Jan-Kay Ranch’s facilities over the past fifty years, Darrell and his wife, Jan, poured their love and lives into creating a place where church groups could find refuge from the city’s hustle-and-bustle, where people could slow down, disconnect and listen for Christ’s still quiet voice amidst North East Texas’ natural beauty.
Darrell was born July 24, 1933 in Houston, Texas to Eugene and Donnie Mae Daniels Coats, and grew up in a two-bed room home. Darrell went to work as a carpenter’s apprentice to help feed the family during the war. He loved carpentry, and eventually worked his way to master carpenter, part owner of Jan-Kay Construction, and later sole owner of 3-C Construction. An innovator in the prefabrication truss industry, Darrell’s construction company eventually employed more than 100 carpenters and built commercial properties across eight southern states. A born leader, Darrell became so successful that he bought an airplane, earned his private pilot’s license, and began flying himself between construction sites.
At the height of his success, when most people would have spent their hard-earned fortune on themselves and a life of luxury, Darrell and Jan decide to pour into people and Christ’s service, opening Jan-Kay Ranch’s doors in 1970. Darrell loved and served people well! In addition to serving his church family as a longtime Sunday school teacher and deacon, he also served the community in many ways, often donating his time and resources to oversee building projects for numerous non-profits.
Darrell’s love for Jesus and for people led him to mentor hundreds of young men and woman over the years. Through his construction company, the church, and the camp he relished the opportunity to teach young people the value of hard work, integrity, and a deep love for Jesus. He had the unique ability to push people out of their comfort zones and to encourage them to accomplish far more than they ever believed possible. Like the Apostle Paul, “Granddad” proved to be “a skilled master-builder, who laid a foundation for someone else to build upon.” Darrell’s faithful investment in God’s people will survive the fire, and we are confident he is receiving a well-earned reward from His Lord and Savior (1 Cor. 3:9-15).
Darrell is preceded in death by one son, Donald Ray Coats. He is survived by Jan, his wife of 67 years; two daughters, Dottie Nance, and husband DeWayne; Deann Reger, and husband Tim. He has nine grandchildren: Jamie Coats; Julie Mitchell, and husband Paul; Chad Reger, and wife Alanna; Tiffany Nance; Cody Reger, and wife Ashli; Travis Reger, and wife Katy; Zachary Nance, and wife Megan; Rachel Nance; and, Trevor Reger, and wife Jacie. Darrell and Jan were also blessed with fifteen great grandchildren, who will greatly miss their “Granddad”.
To help continue Granddad’s legacy, the family requests donations be made to Jan-Kay Ranch in lieu of flowers.
Services are scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31st at Bright-Holland Funeral Home with Dr. Tim Reger officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service. Following the service, private burial will be made in Evergreen Cemetery.
To leave a message or tribute for the family please visit www.brighthollandfuneralhome.com