Doug Coe was married to his wife, Janice Coe, for 68 years when he passed away in 2017. Doug is the mysterious leader of the Fellowship group featured in Netflix’s documentary The Family. Doug Coe led one of the most powerful religious organizations in the country, but he preferred staying behind the scenes. Learn more about Jan and their marriage below.
1. Doug & Janice Coe Were Married in 1953, Just a Few Months Before He Graduated from College
Doug Coe was born on October 20, 1928 in Medford, Oregon. He and his wife, Janice Muyskens Coe, were married in 1953 just a few months before he graduated from Williamette University, The New York Times reported. (His obituary says that he and his wife were married in 1949.) He studied math and physics in college.
According to his obituary, Coe struggled with the faith while in college. But then he had a “religious experience” that felt almost like an in-person encounter where he dedicated his life to God’s work, The New Yorker shared.
Coe once wrote: “Early on I thought the work of God was evangelism, but I soon realized the only person I could evangelize or disciple was myself. I learned from Billy Graham that the Gospel isn’t three or five points; it’s a Person – Jesus. God is love, and since Jesus is God, then the Gospel is also love.”
2. Doug & Janice Had Six Children, Including a Son Who Died in 1985
He and Janice have five children who were still alive when Doug Coe died. They were: Timothy (married to Elena and living in Annapolis), David (married to Alden and living in Annapolis), Debbie (married to Doug Burleigh and living in Annapolis, Maryland), Paula (married to Lee Corder and living in Arlington), and Becky (married to Ken Wagner and living in Annapolis).
Their sixth and youngest child, Jon, died before Doug Coe, The New York Times reported. Jon was married to Lisa Coe Parker and died in 1985. The Family documentary mentioned that Jon died of cancer and was Doug’s youngest son.
3. They Have 21 Grandchildren & 56 Great-Grandchildren
They also have 21 grandchildren and 56 great-grandchildren.
Zeshan Safar shared the above photos on Twitter from an event in 2018 that was held to honor Doug Coe. He wrote: “Tonight we had a chance to honour his work, & I personally had the honour of meeting so many of his family members including his wife, daughters and grandchildren who all exude virtuous qualities.”
4. After Doug Died, Jan Coe Said That They Would Miss Him But Were Comforted Knowing He Was with Jesus
Coe’s wife of 68 years, Jan Coe, said about her husband: “I am so proud of Doug and his decades of service to our Lord, constantly pointing the way to Jesus rather than elevating himself. We are going to miss him, but are comforted knowing that he is now in the presence of Jesus, whom he faithfully served all of these years.”
5. Janice Coe Attended a Gathering to Honor Doug on What Would Have Been Their 69th Anniversary
In 2018, Janice Coe attended a gathering to honor Douglas Coe on what would have been their 69th anniversary. This photo, shared by Bob Roberts Jr., the pastor of Northwood Church, was taken at the event.
Roberts wrote: “What a great lady -Jan Coe – wife of Doug Coe at a gathering to honor him on their 69th wedding anniversary with Jews, Muslims & followers of Jesus of Nazareth.”
The photo above was shared at the same event.