Lemley Chapel
Serving Sedro-Woolley &
All of Skagit County Since 1935
1008 Third Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA
Bessie Pauline “Pod” Coward Memorial
Bessie Pauline “Pod” Coward Memorial

Bessie Pauline “Pod” Coward

Bessie Pauline “Pod” Coward

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

When I must leave you for a little while,
Please do not grieve and shed wild tears.
Live on and do all things the same.
Reach out your hand in comfort and in cheer
And I in turn will comfort you and hold you near;
And never, never be afraid to die,
For I am waiting for you in the sky!

Bessie Pauline “Pod” Coward, age 69, a longtime Birdsview area resident, passed away on Thursday, April 29, 2010 at the United General Hospital in Sedro-Woolley with her family by her side.

She was born on May 25, 1940 in Silva, North Carolina the daughter of Ernest and Merle (Ammons) Fox.

Pod was a resident of the Skagit Valley for the past 60 years and formerly resided in Silva, NC. The family moved to Skagit County in the early 1950’s living in Clear Lake where she attended school and where she was active in many sports, receiving letter awards in Basketball and Baseball.

She was united in marriage to Daniel Russell Coward on April 8, 1958 and they made their home in Clear Lake until moving to Birdsview in the late 1970’s.

She was a loving mother to many. She loved to travel as long as she didn’t have to drive, and was a Co-pilot for everyone. She enjoyed hosting family gatherings and BBQ’s where she loved to hear her brothers Mike and Kenny sing. She was a long time pool player in the Skagit Valley Women’s Pool League and also loved to paint and enjoyed camping.

She is survived by her loving husband, Russell Coward of Birdsview. Her children, Brenda Geary and her husband Randy of Sedro-Woolley,  Pam Mottet of Sedro-Woolley, Danny Coward and Cecily Moore of Rockport and Paul Coward and Deena Mattis of Pierce, Idaho. Two sisters, Shirley Hots and her husband Larry and Ruby Elliott. Four brothers, Mike Fox and his wife Daisy, Vic Fox and his wife Kathy, Larry Fox and his wife Monica and Kenny Fox.  14 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, sister’s Emma Erna-Mae Cahill, Kathy Anderson and brother Jim Fox.

Graveside Services will be held on Wednesday May 5, 2010 at 11:00am at the Hamilton Cemetery with Pastor Walt Rice officiating.  Viewing is available on Monday and Tuesday  from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at Lemley Chapel.  Memorials are suggested to the Bessie Coward Funeral Trust c/o Wells Fargo Bank.  A Potluck gathering will immediately follow services at Bethlehem Lutheran Church on Wicker Road in Sedro-Woolley.


  • Kimberley and Dave Sitton

    Pod was the rock, the foundation, the center of her loving family. She was always eager to help anyone out, at anytime. Had a smile that would light up the world everytime we would see her, and she always put others dreams and desires before her own. Anytime we would visit, no matter how long it had been, she would always welcome us with open arms and a smile and say “make yourself at home”. She was and is a remarkable, gracious, and unforgetable child of God. We look forward to seeing her again when our Father calls upon us.

  • Tom Burchfiel

    My sympathies to Russell. I can remember “Pod” and you hosting Ted Orr and I during bear hunting in the 1980s. Thank you for that.
    You have my best wishes during this difficult time.

  • Lynda Ribera

    I never really got to know “Pod” very well, but have a deep affection for her family. It is with Sincere sympathy to all of her loving family I send my prayers and best wishes. I know she will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.

  • Shannon Shearer

    Pod will sincerely be missed. It is with great fondness that I knew her. My condolences to her loved ones.

  • Betty (Scott=Meins) Blouin

    Branda,,want to say my thought are with you and your family.. World seams to get smaller each time we turn around..my love goes out to each of you and remember arms around you everyday. Betty

  • Roberta DeBruler

    I remember Pauline from the first grade at Clear Lake Grade School. She was dynamic. I remember her always in motion, excited, enthusiastic, and interested in whatever was going on. I moved away from Clear Lake in 1949, but even after , oh….60 years I remember that energetic little girl. It is wonderful to hear that she had such a great life with her large family. The bathing suit story is the best. She didn’t let anything stop her from having fun.
    Roberta DeBruler

  • Larki Aldridge Thun

    Pod was the very center of this close fun loving family that had so many extras, such as I. I have so many wonderful memories of all the times we spent together for so many years. The camping trips, our bear hunts with Mike,our shopping trips, far to many to count, but every one a treasured memory. I moved away for sixteen years and we saw each other very little since then, but years ago we shared a best friend heart necklace, I don’t even remember which one of us bought it, doesn’t matter. I will always cherish that, she was and always will be my BEST friend. I love you my sweet friend. I send my prayers with love to Russell, Danny, Brenda, Pam and Paul and all the grandchilden, brothers and sisters. I, like so many, feel your loss. Larki

  • Ruth Putman

    Oh, the memories I do hold, God called another of His children home, what a time we’ll have again someday. Just waiting patiently for His Mighty call for the remainder of His children. We may live miles apart but the memories will live on in my heart. Love and prayers to the Family.

  • sandy coward

    Ah, Pauline, you beet us there. What a reunion you all are having up there with all our loved ones. We just have to wait our turn and finish out our time here. We still have so much to learn before our journey is through. You were ahead of us all when it came to patience, kindness, loving generousity.
    I’ll miss you and your sweet smile. Sisters forever, love Sandy Coward

  • carolyn coward

    Auntie Pauline was the nicest person you would ever want to meet. She lived her life and shared graciously with others. I remember one summer going to spend the weekend with cousin Pammy in the late 60’s and it was very hot out. They had a sprinkler going in the front yard in Clear lake and I didn’t have a swim suit. Pauline went in and made me a swim suit on the sewing machine (i do not remember what it looked like, who cares) but it made my day and we were able to play in the sprinkler. Auntie Pauline had a way of always making you feel at home. She was a wonderful person and I am thankful she was a part of my life as a young person.
    I know we have drifted apart but I think of you all often, and have the fondest memories of those good old days. regretfully wont be at the services as I’ll be out of town for work.
    I love you all and so very sorry for our loss. She is up in heaven with Grandma Lillie, uncle Ray and Dad (Uncle Carl), and many more loved ones.
    Sincerely Carolyn Coward….