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Mary Coit
May 9, 1919- May 10, 2012
mary coit

We mourn the passing of our wonderful mother on May 10, 2012. She was born Mary Ruth Dutra on May 9, 1919 in the Niles district of Fremont, CA, to two Portuguese immigrants who each came to America, met, married and raised a family. Their family included Mary and three sons-Gorge, Tony and Marion Dutra.

The family were farmers and sharecropped the land in the Niles and Centerville area of Fremont, CA, and later evergreen district in San Jose. They farmed some time without electricity or running water. In 1926, the family moved to Manteca, CA, where relatives already lived and there they used their hard work ethic and wit to start a dairy. They had success and prospered much from this dairy in later life. As a girl and young woman, Mary would do the washing, cooking as well as milking cows. She could even handle a pair of plow horses, though she was too small to harness them.

At 21, she met and married a good-looking, quiet, hardworking young man named Alfred, who also was a good dancer and whose parents came from the Azores Islands also. Mary took care of and loved him for the rest of his life and he did the same for her. In 1944, with World War II going on, Mary moved back to her mother's dairy where she milked cows while caring for two little babies. Alfred was a Marine in Iwo Jima and later Japan.

Mary and Alfred bought a small apricot orchard back in Niles after the war ended and started a small chicken ranch to pay for schooling. Here she would stay for the next 50 years, caring for her children and grandchildren, being active at the Holy Spirit Parish in Fremont, Holy Spirit School and Mothers Guild. In 2000 Mary moved to Turlock, where she became a member of the Sacred Heart Parish, Y.L.I Ave Regina #200, The Red Hat Society Crimson Contessa, and the Native Daughters of the Golden West , Oakdale Parlor #125.

Mary was a lady, 5' 1", 105 pounds with green eyes and brown hair who everyone thought was cute until the day she passed; but her husband and kids knew she was beautiful. She was a smart person, honest, giving and compassionate as well as tough and fair. She was a very well-liked and respected lady.

Her greatest interests in life were her children and all children too, she loved them that much. She loved flowers in her garden, where she worked every day like her mother before her. Mary spent time reading the newspaper and watching the news every day. And like her mother before her, she spent time each night saying the rosary and praying for people in need before sleep. Her favorite people, not of this world, were Jesus, Virgin Mary and Saints Jude and Anthony.

Mary leaves behind sons Paul (Jocelyn) Coit, and Mike Coit both of Manteca, daughter Irene (Larry) Larson of Turlock, grandsons Bob Coit, Paul Coit, Jr., Tony Coit and Michael Coit; and thirteen great- grandchildren. Mary Coit was her children's light and shall be missed forever.

Viewing will be at Allen Mortuary on Tuesday, May 15th, beginning at 4:00 with rosary to follow at 7:00 p.m., also at Allen Mortuary. Mass will be at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Wednesday, May 16th, at 10:00 a.m. with burial to follow at 12:30pm in Escalon at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery. Please share your memories at

Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin

Saturday, May 12, 2012