The Committee and Members of Outback Grave Markers Inc deeply regret the passing of Yvonne on 29 November 2022. Without the four Lonely Graves and Burials at Sea volumes, the life’s work of Yvonne and Kevin Coate, Outback Graves would have struggled to get off the ground.
The selfless gesture to give unqualified access and use of their work to OGM, enabling us to bring alive the incredible information in the pages of their books, has been the greatest asset this organisation could ever have wished for.
Yvonne was born at Donnybrook on 31 December 1927. Upon her marriage to Kevin, their outback adventures began with a 7-year honeymoon in New Zealand, where three of their four children were born. On their return to WA, their fourth child was born and they ran a specialty food shop in Garden City before starting up a natural history-based tour company called, Coate’s Wildlife Tours – that is still operating today. All this, while Yvonne volunteered at a women’s night shelter and drove the Canning City pensioner bus.
Yvonne was a founding member of the Western Australian Genealogical Society and the inaugural editor of the Society’s journal, The Western Ancestor, for three years. Then, together with Kevin, Yvonne started researching, locating and recording the lonely graves of WA.
On 8 June 2009, Yvonne Elwyn Coate was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) “For service to the Community, particularly the recording of the natural history of Western Australia, and to eco- tourism and conservation.”
In 2014, she was elected a Life Fellow of the Western Australian Genealogical Society.
Thank you, Yvonne and Kevin, for your generosity in sharing your life’s work with Outback Grave Markers.
Deepest sympathy to Kevin and family on their sad loss.
Yvonne, your work and your name will live forever