Pansy Coates


Pansy “Pam” Lucile Dillard Coates, 96, of Fairview, N.C., came to the end of a life filled with wonder and curiosity July 7, 2020.

A native of the Beta community, she was the daughter of the late Georgia Olive Stillwell and William Garland Dillard.

Surviving are her children, Carole, Alan, and Curtis and their spouses, as well as four grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

Pam was valedictorian of the Sylva High School class of 1940 and was proud to be awarded five senior superlatives by her classmates. A state and national 4-H Club winner, she was selected to the state’s Honor Club, an honorary lifetime 4-H membership. She attended Western Carolina and Berea colleges before marrying J.B., her husband of 60 years.

During World War II, Pam was a “Calutron Girl” in the Secret City of Oak Ridge, Tenn. A stay-at-home mom, she was a church library volunteer; an avid gardener, reader, and crossword puzzler; and a superb talent with needle and thread. She was a long-time 4-H leader and Home Demonstration Club member and officer. She was named the Florence (S.C.) County Homemaker of the Year.

After her children were grown, she operated a plant nursery, Pam’s Pampered Plants. In retirement Pam and J.B. founded Scentsations, their home-based herbal and craft business, during which time she was a member and officer of the North Carolina Herb Association. Never too old to learn, she was a keen Elderhostel participant and picked up clogging and the mountain dulcimer in her later years. Always eager for new adventures, she and J.B. rafted the Colorado River in their 70s. For the last seven years, she resided at Flesher’s Retirement Center where she learned to be a Bingo enthusiast.

Due to COVID-19, a memorial service will be scheduled for a later date. Memorial gifts may be may be made to the library of First Baptist Church, 5 Oak St., Asheville, NC 28801, where she was a member. Condolences may be sent to