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James Lynn Contois


Oct. 23, 1961 – Jan. 17, 2019

A graveside service for James Lynn Contois, 57, of Coos Bay, was held at 2 p.m., Monday, Jan. 21, at Sunset Memorial Park, 63060 Millington Frontage Road in Coos Bay. Family and close friends attended the service, which was officiated by Rev. Kevin Goodwin of Landmark Pentecostal Church.

Known as James in the professional setting and "Jim" to friends and family, he was born Oct. 23, 1961 at the McChord Air Force Base, Tacoma, Wash., to John Ernest and Wanda Oleta (Martindill) Contois, who preceded him in death. James passed away after a long valiant battle with cancer Jan. 17, 2019 at his residence in Coos Bay.

As a child, James lived on a U.S. Air Force base in Libya and later the family moved to Washington with James finally settling in Oregon. James attended Lindberg High School in Renton, Wash., Class of 1980 and had a natural aptitude for sports from an early age. He lettered in varsity football as a tackle wearing #76 and was a member of the varsity track team where he excelled in shot put.

James received a bachelor of arts degree from Western Washington University in 1985, a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Willamette University in 1989, and a Master’s of social science degree in high school basic and advanced math and social studies in 2000.

As an educator, James was proud of his career. He was a teacher and track coach from 2000 to 2009 in the Salem and Waldport areas; then a math teacher and head track coach at Coquille High School from 2009 to 2019, where he also volunteered for football, basketball games and afterschool events.

James met Tana Russell in January, 2012 and they were married Sept. 26, 2015 at Shore Acres State Park. Together they enjoyed dancing, traveling and playing cribbage almost daily.

James had many talents and hobbies. He was a certified scuba diver, gun collector, skier, hiker and amateur photographer. He loved the beach, traveling, and riding his Harley. Even after his cancer diagnosis, James lived a life full of laughter and “inside” jokes with his loving family. He will be deeply missed by all his family, friends, colleagues and students.

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He is survived by his wife, Tana Contois of Coos Bay; brothers, Richard and wife, Patricia Contois of Renton, Wash., and Charles and wife, Rachel Contois of Maple Valley, Wash.; sister, Danielle and husband, David Krebs of St. Petersburg, Fla.; son, Michael Contois of Woodburn; nephews, Kevin and Curtis Contois; nieces, Nicole Miller and Michelle Contois; granddaughters, Laren and Mackenzie Contois; stepson, Cameron Kirkland; and stepdaughters, Aubree Kirkland and Erin Russell.

Memorial contributions may be made to the James Contois Annual Track Scholarship Fund, care of Coos Bay Chapel, PO Box 749, Coos Bay, OR 97420.

Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131.

Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at and

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