Ellwin L. Coulston, 89, of Niles

Published 9:16 am Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Dec. 19, 1923 — Nov. 9, 2013

Ellwin L. Coulston, age 89 years of Niles, Michigan died at 12:50 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013 at his home following a brief illness.



He was born on December 19, 1923 in Harbor Beach, Mich. to Neil M. and Marion (Ramsey) Coulston. He was graduated from Harbor Beach High School, and enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps. He served as a Second Lieutenant and Bomber Pilot in the European Theater, and was a Veteran of World War II. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State College (now University) in 1949, and continued with graduate studies at the University of Notre Dame.

He was employed at the former Niles office and the Atlanta, Georgia office of the Kawneer Company for forty years, retiring in 1989.

El served on the Brandywine School Board from 1962 until 1981. He later served on the Greater Niles Recreation Board and City of Niles Planning Commission, and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. He was a member of the Jaycees and the Lions club. He played tennis, golf and bridge, and enjoyed camping in northern Michigan when his kids were young. He was an artist and craftsman, working in pottery, stained glass, woodcarving and cabinetmaking. Most of the furniture in his house came from his hand in his shop, which also produced pieces for the homes of his children.

On Sept. 13, 1947 in Bad Axe, Mich. he married the former Rucilla Laird with whom he celebrated two months ago the sixty-sixth anniversary of their wedding.

He is survived by his wife, Rucilla Coulston, and their children, Marion (Jim) Maier of Stevensville, Mich., Neil (Trish) Coulston of Niles, Paul (Claire) Coulston of Edwardsburg, Mich., David (Susan) Coulston of Niles and Mark (Cari) Coulston of Eau Claire, Mich.; 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

El was preceded in death by his parents and by a daughter, Ann Coulston who died on June 10, 1977 and by a sister, Evelyn and brothers, Melvin, Russell, and Bruce.

The funeral service for Ellwin Coulston will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles with the Rev. Jan Van Lear of Buchanan officiating. The service will conclude with military honors by the United States Air Force Honor Guard. Burial will be later, privately, at Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles.

The family will receive relatives and friends from 4 until 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of El may be made to the Niles-Buchanan Meals on Wheels, or to the donor’s choice.