Local couple leave a legacy: The story of Harold and June
My parents, Harold “Speed” and June Coe, were both born in Portland area. Speed in 1925 in Portland and June in 1926 in West Slope. Meeting as teens at a malt shop in Southeast Portland, it wasn’t long before they each knew, “this is the one.” Speed attended Benson High School and June went to Beaverton High.
In 1941, Daddy enlisted in the US Navy to serve in WWII. Many, many letters were exchanged during his tour of service and the relationship continually progressed. They married in January 1944 while Dad was home on a ten-day leave. Speed was 18 and June was 17.
In November 1958, Dad started a business called Harold “Speed” Coe Flying A, located at SW Broadway and Burnside in downtown Portland. Momy (a family spelling) took on the role of bookkeeper, doing her part to help make the business a success. Good work ethics and good morals, portrayed by both Speed & June, helped them become successful in many ways besides making them terrific role models to all who came in contact with them.
When my brother, Gary, was old enough, he worked in the business too, taking over after the folks retired in 2000. Dad was 75 when he retired and only then due to health-related issues.
My stint working in the family business as a bookkeeper was limited. One of Dad’s employees was starry-eyed once he saw me changing the oil in my 1957 Ford, which was up on the hoist. Rick literally married the boss’s daughter, now 53 years ago!
The business grew and changed through the years but now, 64 years later, it is still going strong and in the third generation of family ownership, Speed’s Towing and Speeds Auto Auction are thriving well in Harold’s grandson’s hands.
Daddy & Momy’s wonderful marriage lasted over 72 ½ years before Dad’s death in 2015. A truly magical relationship, we never ever saw them argue.
At the time of Mom’s passing in July of this year, she represented the oldest of five generations in our family, all born in Portland and living within 18 miles of each other; not something that happens very often.
Gary & I miss our folks tremendously. We are comforted by the sentiment on the cover of their niche in a columbarium at Willamette National Cemetery. They share the same niche just as they shared everything else throughout their lives. “Together Forever.”
Linda (Coe) Polier has lived in the Beaverton area since 1959. She enjoys gardening and taking care of the half-acre her home sits on.