Otha Lavon Coon

Otha Lavon Coon, 86, of Jena, passed from this life on Monday, April 9, 2018, at the Veterans Affairs Nursing Home in Pineville. He was born May 16, 1931 in Trout, the second of six children born to the union of his parents, Hamilton and Eunice Windham Coon. Lavon was orphaned at the young age of 15 due to a tragic automobile accident in which his parents and three siblings drowned. As a result of the loss, he was forced to drop out of high school and began public work to help provide for his younger sibling. Lavon enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1951 and served during the Korean War. After completing training as a radio operator in San Diego, CA, Corporal Coon was assigned to active duty in a South Korean Division Company Anglico, where he was sent to an outpost on Hill 229. His job was to spy on North Korea and call military strikes on the enemy, including air assaults and naval ship strikes. Cpl. Coon was decorated with the following medals and commendations: Rifle Marksman, Korean Service Medal with 3 Bronze Campaign Stars, Public of Korea War Service Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, United Nations Service Medal of Korea, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, and Combat Action Ribbon for Korea. More recently, he was awarded the State of Louisiana Honor Medal. After being discharged in 1953 and with the help of the GI bill, he returned to school completing his high school requirements and additional courses in business. He worked for Bodcaw Company as a senior forest tech for 24 years, and worked as a production operator for Hunt Petroleum for 30 years and 7 months. Upon taking an early retirement at age 55, with 30 years of experience, he began his second career as a bailiff for the 28th Judicial District Court System, serving for 20 years under Judges Jimmie C. Peters, Speedy O. Long and J. P. Mauffray, Jr. Mr. Coon was a member of Fellowship Baptist Church and a lifetime resident of LaSalle Parish. Services were held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, April 11, in the chapel of Hixson Brothers Funeral Home of Jena with the Revs. Bill Robertson and Mike Devillier, along with Judge Jimmie C. Peters, officiating. Interment, with full military honors by the Jena Honor Guard, followed in the Belah Cemetery under direction of Hixson Brothers, Inc. of Jena He was preceded in death by his wife, Zula Vee Allen Coon; parents; sister, Margaret Coon; brothers, Aaron “Ted” Coon, Dallas Coon, Lavell Coon, and Charles Coon; and grandson, Craig Allen Bond. Those left to cherish his memory include his daughter, Joy Bond of Jena; grandson, Brian David Bond and wife Kaity; great-grandchildren, Riley Bond, Laci Bond, Cameron Bond, Samuel Bond, Kassi Bond and Noah Sharp. Pallbearers were Steve Andrews, Tom Kendrick, Bobby Wilson, Clyde Crooks, Mickey Cockerham and Chris Peters. Honorary pallbearers were the Deacons of Fellowship Baptist Church, Hunt Petroleum friends, Court House friends, Bodcaw friends and members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5002.

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