Remembering a good man on his birthday today…
Coy D Tugman, age 75, went to be with the Lord on March 22, 2019. He was surrounded by his family, who loved him dearly.
Coy was born on December 11, 1943, in Lindsay, Oklahoma, to Dave and Mary (Hanley) Tugman. He was the second of two boys – Don, being the oldest – and during their time in Lindsay, the Tugman boys made their mark. They were hard workers, good hunters, rambunctious playmates, fun pranksters, loyal friends, and proud members of their immediate and extended families.
Coy graduated from Lindsay High School in 1961, from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma in 1966, from the University of Oklahoma in 1973 with a Master of Arts in Education, along with postgraduate certification in public school administration. He was a lifelong professional educator who devoted himself to the betterment of others by empowering them with the life-changing skills that a good education provides. He enjoyed a distinguished career as a school administrator that won him many awards and the respect of his colleagues.
His teaching career was just one of many ways that Coy sought to live a life of service. From being the Principal of local schools to being the founder and Chief of a volunteer fire department, an active member of the Lion’s Club, a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, and an influential leader in the church, Coy tirelessly worked to improve the communities of which he was part.
Coy met the love of his life, Avis Ann Russell, on the campus of ECU, where they were fellow students. They were married on May 30, 1963 and remained married for nearly 56 years. Together, they were a dynamic duo in education, in service, and in faith. They quietly provided for students in need, families in need, and fellow Christians in need. They supported impoverished children in Haiti, supported Christian missionaries, and supported Bible-sharing ministries like Eastern European Missions. They were champions of the local church, and each one has lived a life that has pointed many people to Jesus.
Coy’s legacy can be measured by the countless number of students, teachers, community members, friends, and Christian brothers and sisters whose lives he impacted in some way. But his pride and joy were his children and grandchildren, who all seek to follow the Christ-like example he set for them.
Coy is survived by his cherished wife, Ann, daughter Kami and Kerry Wright, son Rusty and Mitzi Tugman, granddaughter Kelsie and Preston Gibbs, grandson Logan and (the future) Macy Wright, grandson Nolan Wright, and granddaughter Hope Tugman, and brother Don and Gaynell Tugman. Also many beloved nieces and nephews, ornery cousins, two sisters-in-law (in addition to Gaynell), Martha Russell and Gayle Johns, and two brothers-in-law, Lynn Russell and Bobby Johns, who were collaborators on many adventures. He is preceded in death by his parents and numerous family members, including sister-in-law and brother-in-law Beth and Gary Murdock and grandson Cooper Hammer Tugman.
His family hopes that others will be encouraged by Coy’s example to live out the words of 1 Peter 4:10 which says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”