Cover photo for Dirk Coetzee's Obituary
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1970 Dirk 2018

Dirk Coetzee

January 9, 1970 — February 22, 2018

In Memory of Dirk, our beloved Son and Brother Ben, Jeanette, and Iris-March 3rd, 2018 In December 2015 Jeanette and I managed to slip through windows in the harsh Wyoming weather to attend Dirk's graduation as Correctional Officer at the Wyoming Department of Corrections Academy in Rawlins. After a lifetime of interim endeavors in which he excelled as a person and professional, he had secured the stable future he had relentlessly pursued his entire adult life. It was a proud occasion for all of us. He stood tall in his uniform. And today we gather at the same venue for a memorial service performed in Dirk's honor with another full, solemn ceremony. He would be so incredibly proud, as are we, his family. After a brave battle with cancer, during which the Surgical, Interventional Radiology, Gastroenterology, and Oncology Teams at the Anschutz University Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, exhausted all available treatment options to no avail, an emaciated Dirk, with his mind clear and his parents and sister at his bedside holding his hands, succumbed. At 8:30 MT on Thursday morning, February 22nd 2018, his ordeal and his suffering was over. The Aurora IR Surgeon, Dr. Lindquist, stayed in close and direct contact and did everything he could to ease Dirk's suffering right up to the day before Dirk passed away. He spent his last hours in the tender care of the staff at the Memorial Hospital of Carbon County. Dirk leaves behind the remainder of his close-knit and loving immediate family, a bereaved and devastated threesome. Dirk carefully handpicked Wyoming State Penitentiary at Rawlins. He loved his job and challenged medical scheduling to avoid missing a day at work; and then got back to work at the earliest opportunity. All the while, Director Robert Lampert, Warden Michael Pacheco, Major Ethan Remacle, Captains Jacobs and Raimiller, Lt. Levi Nitschke and his second shift, all his other colleagues, and Alanna and Stephanie from HR went out of their way to accommodate an ailing Dirk's special needs. Dirk also loved this town and community situated amongst the beautiful Wyoming hills and plains. I do too and enthusiastically followed him here when my wife and I relocated to support him. My wife, now in remission, was waging a cancer battle of her own back in Tennessee and Arkansas while Dirk prepared his newly bought home always with his mother's tastes in mind. He loved dogs and was now able to get two good-natured and lively little mutts for whom he and I made the backyard and home a dog-friendly heaven. He bought his dream 4x4 Toyota Tundra, which he nursed like a baby. When it became clear all treatments had failed and he had little time left, his priority changed to letting go of these treasures to spare his parents the ordeal when he would no longer be here. Parting with his adorable hand-reared puppies was hard for all four of us, but he personally found them good homes. A large contingent of friends and family, both here and abroad converged these past months to bestow on us loads of heart-felt compassion and material support. Bernard and Esther Faber, and Brian and Bonita Berry, headed the shamefully neglected support group from our earlier days in the US. Bernard travelled here from Memphis recently to bring a smile to Dirk's lips-the proverbial flowers while he lived. He now writes: "Goodbye my brother Dirk Coetzee ... Thank you for the friendship in the past 15 yrs.-for I came to know a man that gave a new meaning to honesty, commitment, and family love." We, the family, thank everyone present here today for bringing such high honor to the memory of our beloved son and brother. You are doing him proud, to say the very least. RUS IN VREDE DIRK, MY BOET


Saturday, March 3, 2018 3:00pm

WDOC Training Academy

924 Third St.


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