Alexander “Alex” Coelho, 80, of Turlock, passed away at his home with his family at his side. Alex was born in Gustine, CA to Antonio and Rose Coelho. He grew up in the Gustine/Newman area and graduated from Orestimba High School. In 1952 he joined the Air Force and began his 20 year career as a military cryptographer. He served in Texas, Morocco, Libya and Saudi Arabia, before he met the love of his life, Betty Franklin. They were married and Alex continued his military career in Alaska, California, Kansas, Spain, Nebraska, Hawaii, and back to Texas until his retirement in 1972. Alex’s military highlights were being selected as a Communications Technician for the Strategic Air Command Flying Command Post at Offutt AFB, Nebraska and receiving the Air Force Commendation Medal. After his retirement from the Air Force, Alex worked for Modesto Junior College and Turlock Unified School District, retiring once again after 21 years.
Alex was a sports enthusiast, spending countless hours on the field and in the stands as a coach, player, official, and spectator. His many athletic achievements include coaching the 12-13 year old Wheeler AFB Cowboys’ football team to the Hawaii State Military Championship, that was storied in the international publication “Air Force Times,” and participation on numerous all-star military fast pitch softball teams.
Alex was a member of Sacred Heart Church, VFW, American Legion, and Air Force Sargent’s Association. He also enjoyed fishing and golfing during his leisure time.
Alex was preceded in death by his parents, brother, David Coelho, and his grandson, Alex Joseph Coelho. He is survived by his wife Betty Coelho, three children: Rick (Cathy) Coelho of Sahuarita, AZ, Diane (Terry Simmons) Coelho-Martin of Encinitas, CA, Linda (Jim) Staicer of Clovis, CA, sister, Liz Pacheco of Gustine, 9 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be at Allen Mortuary on Wed, May 21st from 4-7 PM. Rosary will follow at 7 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will be at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Thurs, May 22nd at 10 AM. Burial will follow at Hills Ferry Cemetery in Newman.
The family would appreciate any gifts be made to the Alex Coelho Memorial Scholarship Fund, established in memory of Alex Joseph Coelho (grandson), 4175 E. Dawson Road, Sahuarita, AZ 85629. Please leave memories and condolences at www.allenmortuary.com.