Von Coates: Rest in Peace.

This will be short as I won’t pretend that I knew Von Coates other than through years of reading her blog as well as some email correspondence. Nonetheless, I was very saddened to hear of her passing recently. Quoting her family:

As a social worker and online advocate of hundreds of adopted persons, Liz was a huge-hearted woman, passionate about the rights of others. Her death on 17/05/2020 has been devastating to family, friends and the online community.

When I first started this blog, Von was one of the few who would repost my missives on her blog [link: The Life of Von], opening up connections between domestic and transnational adoption, but also connecting threads of dispossession, displacement, and disinheritance that are not limited to continents or nation-states.

This support meant the world to me, especially coming from someone who was, in my mind, at the forefront of those on the transaction end of adoption as a practice as well as a witness to what had transpired historically in terms of resistance. I read her blog and learned so much about where I stood in relation to that history; her words gave me solid ground to stand on; her support kept me going through much in the way of self-doubt.

Continuing from the fundraiser her family has put up in her honor:

Giving back to this wonderful cause is one way to pay tribute and pay it forward with love. The family of Elizabeth Hughes (Liz) aka Von Coates would like to invite other loved ones, friends and community to donate to Lifeline in her memory. Lifeline was one of Liz’s favourite charities because of the amazing work they do in supporting those in need via 24-hour telephone counselling.

I extend to them my sincere condolences as well as wish for them peace and peace of mind. I likewise encourage you to contribute to this fundraiser in her memory [link: Memorial to Elizabeth Ann Hughes], for a local organization that so amazingly mimics the support that Von was known for, even to those of us thousands of miles away. I will be always be grateful for her support and advice. May her soul find peace.

About Daniel Drennan ElAwar

Adoptee, rematriated.
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7 Responses to Von Coates: Rest in Peace.

  1. lynellelong says:

    Beautifully expressed Daniel!! It’s amazing how interconnected we are with the internet!

  2. Karen Wilson-Buterbaugh says:

    How sad. May she Rest In Peace. Thank you for sharing

  3. Lara/Trace says:

    I am still not believing Von is gone. But what she gave us as adoptees, will live on.
    So I was remembering I wrote a post on my Lara blog (I think this was 2012) and someone made a rude nasty hateful comment to me on my thoughts as an adoptee. Even before I could respond to it, Von did. She hit her with words. I will never forget that. Von had my back.
    Who does that?
    An adoptee looking out for other adoptees.
    I miss her. I will grieve her.

  4. I’m saddened by Von’s passing. Though we hadn’t corresponded much in these last few years, I, too, learned a great deal from her and welcomed her input in adoptee discussions. She was a good friend and fellow activist. Rest in peace, dear friend.

  5. I never met her. We lived on different continents. Her passing affected me deeply. I read every blog post. She was a guiding light in the adoptee community, and she’ll be missed forever.

  6. Amy Dalton says:

    Thank you for this tribute, Daniel. May she rest in peace.

  7. Thank you Daniel. I never met Von either even though we are/were in the same state. I admired her ongoing commitment to adoptees in whatever way she could manage. RIP Von

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