Serving West Michigan Since 1899

John "Jack" Cote'

December 6, 2015
Holland, MI



Thursday, December 10, 2015
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST
Dykstra Funeral Homes
Northwood Chapel
295 Douglas Avenue
Holland, MI 49424
(616) 392-2348
Driving Directions

Friday, December 11, 2015
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EST
Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church
430 152nd Avenue
Holland, MI 49424
(616) 399-1062


Friday, December 11, 2015
11:00 AM EST
Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church
430 152nd Avenue
Holland, MI 49424
(616) 399-1062


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Community Action House
345 W 14th Street
Holland, MI 49423
(616) 392-2368

Hospice of Holland
270 Hoover Blvd
Holland, MI 49423
(616) 396-2972
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


John L. (Jack) Cote’, age 86, of Holland, passed away Sunday, December 6, 2015.

He is survived by his loving wife Joy; five sons, Michael (Mike), Brian (Sally), Ladd, James (Joanne), and Brent (Blanca); 13 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.

Born in Bay City, Michigan, Jack was a co-founder of his East Lansing Law Firm, Willingham and Cote’. Jack was a graduate of the Detroit College of Law in 1952. He was one of the founding members of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, now the largest law school in the nation, and was its second president and a member of its board for 25 years.

Jack was a past president of the Ingham County Bar Association and a recipient of its prestigious Outstanding Attorney Award. He was also past president of the Federal Bar Association for the Western district of Michigan and a member of the United States Supreme Court.

He was elected by his peers to be a Fellow of the State Bar Foundation where eligibility is limited to 5% of members of the State Bar. He was also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation where membership is limited to 3%.

Appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court to serve on the Attorney Discipline Board to oversee the disciplining of attorneys, he served a seven-year term and was elected its chairperson for the first five years.

As head of the litigation department of his firm, he specialized in Admiralty and Maritime law as well as representation of hundreds of attorneys, including judges. The State of Michigan issued him service mark reading “Attorney and Counselor to the legal profession.”

Jack was a retired member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. He was in the military service during the Korean Was and was attached to the 3rd Armored Division.

Jack was an avid sailor and boater; he is best remembered by many for his work in solving the mysterious disappearances of boats in Lake Michigan as well as the Atlantic Ocean. He appeared on national television as an expert witness in solving maritime cases.

He was a member of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church and also attended Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church.

Jack loved sailing, skiing, travel, and reading. He spent his retirement years at home on Lake Michigan in Holland.

Funeral and military services will be 11 am Friday at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, 430 152nd Avenue, with Father Charles Hall officiating. Burial will be in Pilgrim Home Cemetery. Visitation will be 7-9 pm Thursday at the Dykstra Funeral Home-Northwood Chapel, 295 Douglas Ave. and 10-11 am Friday prior to the service at the church. Memorials may be made to Hospice of Holland or Community Action House.