James Daniel Coulter


James Daniel Coulter, 89, longtime member of the Pagosa Springs and Allison, Colo., communities, passed from this life on Dec. 15, 2020, at the Ardmore Veterans Home.

Dan was born March 8, 1931, in Ardmore, Okla., the son of Orlie and Fay Irwin (Kincaid) Coulter. His childhood was spent in Ardmore, Okla., and he graduated from Ardmore High School with the class of 1949. Dan enjoyed fishing, hunting, sailing, riding motorcycles and playing football.

Dan attended University of Oklahoma, attaining his degree in bachelors administration in business in 1953. He was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, Nu Omega Chapter, initiated April 28, 1950. Dan was active in ROTC, following graduation his active military service began Aug. 2, 1953, as a 2nd lieutenant. He served in Germany for his first assignment.

Dan was in the 188th Airborne Infantry regiment as a parachutist. He completed the “Prop Blast” ceremony and was awarded the “Geronimo” cup of the U.S. Airborne Troops. 

Military honors: Army of Occupational Medal in Germany, National Defense Service Medal during the Korean Conflict, Army Commendation Medal and Infantry for Meritorious Service. Maj. James Daniel Coulter was honorably discharged Sept. 30, 1964, as a reserve commission officer. 

Upon returning from Germany, Dan worked with his father, Orlie Coulter, in their family business, Coulter Lumber Yard. In the late ‘70s, Coulter Lumber Yard closed and Dan started his own company, as a new homebuilder in Ardmore, Okla.

Dan married Nancy Anne Walling May 31, 1956.

Aug. 9, 1968, Dan was united in marriage to Mary Lucile Banks Edison at the Ardmore United Methodist Church in Ardmore, Okla.

Dan and Mary moved to Pagosa Springs, Colo., at age 50 and 48 years old to live out their lifelong dreams. Dan worked as a contractor, building homes until the age of 62. He was a member of the American Farrier’s Association. 

He worked hard and played hard. They have fond memories of the many friends they made in Colorado. For 34 years, Dan and Mary lived out their dreams engaging in downhill snow skiing, motorcycle touring and riding their horses in the Colorado mountains. 

 Dan and Mary were active in the Four Corners Back Country Horseman organization, which is a volunteer group who assist the Forest Service with projects involving the proactive use of horses in the backcountry their activities were counting the wild mustangs and working with the forest department clearing trails. They participated in the Ground Breaking Ceremony Project of the Lower Hermosa Trailhead Improvement, which included horse camping facilities at that site.

Dan and Mary experienced “The Mountain Man Rendezvous.” They dressed in renaissance clothing and participated in target shooting with muzzleloader rifles. They also enjoyed elk hunting. 

Dan was a cowboy in a southwest Colorado cattle drive several times. Dan’s most significant adventures were hiking 100 miles in the Colorado Rockies and hiking a “fourteener.” 

Dan was a member of the Gray Wolves Ski Club. He was thrilled when he received his free Wolf Creek season ski pass at the age of 80. He was able to ski for a short time at 80 years young.

Dan was very talented musically, playing the banjo, guitar, harmonica, violin and the ukulele. Another pastime, he carved intricate woodcarvings. He was a very disciplined man with his daily routine working on his crossword puzzles and diligently practicing his Spanish tapes before he started his daily chores. Dan enjoyed putting his feet up to read historical novels.

January 2015, Dan and Mary moved from Colorado to live near Mary’s daughter, Liz, and husband, Greg Fielding, in Cleveland, Okla. Due to Dan’s declining health, he spent the last 4.5 years of his life residing in the Ardmore Veterans Home. Dan missed his loving wife, Mary, but he made the best of the situation. He always had a big smile visiting with the nursing staff, the physical therapist and his favorite social worker, Pam Blankenship. The family expresses their gratitude to the staff for giving Dan a loving home in his last years of his life.

He is preceded in death by his parents Orlie and Fay Kincaid Coulter, infant son, and his brother, Hugh Clarke Coulter.

Survivors: his wife of 52 years, Mary Banks Coulter; Mary’s adult children, Robert Edison, Leslie Edison, Elizabeth Edison Fielding, and John Edison; 17 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

His former wife, Nancy Anne Walling Coulter, and their adult children, David Clarke Coulter, Martin Daniel Coulter, Elizabeth Ann (Libby) Coulter and Carl Russell Coulter; and two grandchildren, Jessie Martin Coulter and Joseph Stanley Coulter; and cousin Gayle Coulter Smith.

His cremated remains will be laid to rest in the Coulter family plot at Hillcrest Memorial Park, Ardmore, Okla. A graveside service with military honors will be held in spring 2021.