Browder Alexis Coates


On June 19, 1948, Browder Alexis Coates burst into the world a brilliant display of red, amber, gold, and pink! Mobile, Alabama served as her point of entry, but it would not remain her home for long—too big a personality she had for small town, USA. Her parents Cassie Lee and TW Harrison relocated the family to Ohio and, because this union did not last a lifetime, Browder and her eight siblings were raised by their dear dad Ebb Williams.

Browder was dazzling and self-empowered from her earliest years. One year of schooling in Newark, New Jersey when she was twelve returned her to the Buckeye State with the moniker Brida. She had renamed herself! Going forward, Brida it would be.

Brida graduated from Linden McKinley High School in 1966, where she made Homecoming Court. She graduated from Franklin University in 1977 and from Ashland University with an MBA in 2002. She earned her doctorate degree in 2009 from Capella University and eventually sealed the title Dr. Coates or Dr. B. to her identity.

From 1984 to 2001, Dr. Coates was employed by the Ohio Department of Transportation District 6 in Delaware, Ohio, where she worked as an assistant auditor and accountant. Her astounding leadership led her to the union president as well. Her return to school occurred during her final years at ODOT and eventually led to her academic appointment at Trident University.

A faithful member of First Church of God, she served in the women’s ministry, enjoying and assisting in the Mother’s Day Hat Luncheons. Dr. Coates spent years as an active member of National Council of Negro Women, eventually being elected president in the Columbus section. She also serviced the Columbus branch of the NAACP.

While her academics and her professional life were of utmost importance, family superseded those pursuits. Dr. Coates faithfully shared her life for 53 years with her loving husband Ezzard C. Coates, raising into adulthood six children: Crystal (Alan) Clark, Ronald (Sarah) Robinson, Christy (Tommy) Austin, E. Brandon Coates, Candice Coates, and Courtney (Kevin) Coates-Viney; fifteen grandchildren: Allison Robinson (Juanita), Andrea (Jermaine) Johnson, Ronald Robinson Jr., Hunter Austin, Hayden Austin, Harper Austin, Hudson Austin, Noah Clark, Eden Clark, Bronson Robinson (Shana), Camden Coates, Averi Robinson, Kamron Robinson, Uriah Robinson, and Amari Robinson; six great-grandchildren: Nari (Nicholas) Cordell, Nilyn Cordell, Naomi Johnson, Noelle Johnson, Nia Johnson, and Zaccai Browder Robinson (Karlie); and three nephew-sons: Dion Chadri Khan, Stanley Holden, and James “Coke” Bailey—all celebrating her life.

Dr. Coates is preceded in death by her fathers: TW Harrison and Ebb Williams; her siblings, Kirk Douglass Terrell, and Jocelyn Renee Harrison. Aside from the list of names in the paragraph above, she is survived by her husband, Ezzard Coates, her mother, Sis. Cassie Williams; and her siblings; Melvin (Lori) Harrison, Stan Harrison, Anthony (Lilian), Philip (Loretta), Ericka Williams Holloway, and Monique Williams; her in-laws: Earnestine Coates, Edith (Sam) Terry, Sandy Crawford, Sharon Coates Johnson, Nianzia Sanders; and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, colleagues, and friends.

Condolence Messages

  1. Lenore Winfrey

    To the Coates Family:
    You have the deepest condolences on your loss. It is well with her soul. May God grant you all peace in the coming days and nights.
    Love, The Winfreys

  2. Cathy & Doug Ellwood

    Brida was a bright spot every day!! As her neighbors across the street, we would chat about life, wave at each other all the time, and shout at each other from our respective porches. Brida was warm, kind and full of life and we will miss her warm smile and love of life. Our love and sincere condolences to Ezzard and the entire Coates family!❤️

  3. Nicole Middleton

    You Have my Deepest Condolences, I’m praying for your family.

  4. Robert W Steele

    Edward, I am sad to hear about your loss, however I believe we both know that Our Lord and savior has control over when we are called. If there is anything I can do for you please feel to reach out. 614-404-9589. May God bless you and the rest of your family.

  5. Gloria R. Robinson

    My condolences to the whole family.Be comforted by The Holy Spirit .

  6. Forever in our hearts!

  7. Nicoria Johnson-Royce

    Ms. Brida, I have alot of memories from Walnut Creek, sitting on the porch with you getting knowledge ! My condolences to the family. May God camp his angels around them along with his loving arms of comfort.

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