Cover photo for LaDessa Chief's Obituary
LaDessa Chief Profile Photo

LaDessa Chief

d. June 18, 2018

LaDessa Coats Chief     "daughter of Alma, N.Y. native”

ROCKLIN, California---LaDesssa Coats Chief, 61, of Rocklin, passed away on June 18, 2018, after a long illness. 

LaDessa was born in Moscow, Idaho to Durwood and Helen Longfors Coats. Preceded in death by her father and her sister Helmi Coats. Survived by her husband Leonard Chief of Rocklin, California; her mother Helen Henderson of Park Rapids, Minnesota; her brothers, Bob (Carla) Coats of Thorofare, New Jersey and Aarne (Cindy) Coats of Lone Pine, California; and several nieces and nephews. 

LaDessa waited tables to buy her first car, a 1969 Mustang fastback; she enjoyed owning sports cars throughout her younger years. LaDessa was a 1975 graduate of Sierra High School in Tollhouse, California. She attended Reedley Junior College for two years before enlisting in the US Air Force as an Electronics Technician. She served honorably for four years active duty at Travis Air Force Base in California, followed by nine years in the Air Force Reserves. LaDessa had many temporary duty assignments, including Okinawa, the Philippines, Korea, and Hawaii. While serving she made two close, lifelong friends, Cecelia and Martha. 

Upon discharge from active duty in 1982, LaDessa went to work for AT&T as a Testing Technician where she worked until retiring in 2012. Her friend Cecelia also worked with her at AT&T. She married her soulmate, Leonard Chief, in 2000 and they enjoyed almost two decades of marriage. LaDessa never had children of her own, but deeply loved her nieces and nephews. She enjoyed being a part of their lives through cards, letters, and visits. She was also very protective and supportive of her brothers and could be relied on for comfort at any time.

Like her father before her, LaDessa inherited Myotonia, a form of muscular dystrophy. It slowly took her health in her later years. Fortunately, Leonard was there for her and she remained independent of others and self-reliant. 

LaDesssa will always be loved and missed by those whose lives she touched.

Family and friends are invited to attend a memorial service at 11 am on Saturday, November 2, 2019, at the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, 118 South Union Street, Shinglehouse, Pa. The Rev. Thomas Isaacson, pastor of Grace Bible Independent Baptist Church, Shinglehouse, will officiate.  Burial will be in Maple Grove Cemetery, Shinglehouse, Pa.

Members of the Potter County Honor Guard will accord full military honors on Saturday.

LaDessa’s family has entrusted her care to Kevin J. Dusenbury, funeral director/owner of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse, Pa.

To express condolences or share a fond memory of LaDessa, please visit or the funeral home Facebook page, Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of LaDessa Chief, please visit our flower store.


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