“For this is the message you heard from the beginning. We should love one another.” ~1 John 3:11
Gavin Piers Coldwell, age 45, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, passed away on Monday, February 12, 2018, after a brave battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. In his last days, he was surrounded by his family and friends, and with love, laughter, and music.
Gavin was born in Kitwe, Zambia, and grew up in Aberdeen, Scotland where he graduated from Oldmacher Academy. He attended Exeter University in Exeter, England, and graduated from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. While attending LSU, he met his beloved wife, Mary Katherine “Kathy” Kent. Gavin and Kathy were married on May 13, 1994, and spent the next 24 years in comfortable contentment.
Gavin worked as a Human Resources Manager at Louisiana State Civil Service, and later was the Human Resources Director of the Office of Public Health at the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. While he would joke that the work could at times be “a bit boring, what with all the pencil pushing,” he enjoyed the friendship of his coworkers, and they adored him.
An avid history buff, and music lover, Gavin’s true and abiding passions were for his family and friends. Gavin sought to instill in his children a zest for life, a dry wit, along with appreciation and compassion for people of all nations, as well as all creatures great and small. His wife was so tickled the day she and Gavin met a woman from West Africa who somehow recognized a slight accent reminiscent of his country of birth, and was overjoyed to finally meet a “White African.” One of the children’s favorite, and most telling, memories of Gavin, is the time he stopped the car to save a small turtle who had wandered into traffic.
Gavin was a strong man with a gentle soul. He was humble and modest, and taught his children to respect and appreciate that it is our differences which make us interesting, and that learning about cultures other than our own enriches our lives as well as our circle of friends. He always put others before himself, and spoiled his wife rotten. Even in his last few days, when his thirst was relentless, every time Kathy offered him a sip of water, he would gently move the cup toward her and say, “You first.”
Near the end of his life, Gavin would say that he really had done everything that anyone could ever hope to do. He had graduated college, obtained a profession he enjoyed, gotten married, had children, and had even been to Disneyworld. He once asked Kathy, “When you really think about it, what else is there?” Indeed.
Gavin is survived by his wife, Mary Katherine Kent Coldwell; his children, Abigail Lynn Coldwell, Audrey Elizabeth Coldwell, and Andrew Piers Coldwell; siblings, James Marcus Coldwell, Richard Lewis Williams-Jones, and Sheena Kerry Coldwell Cordery; his parents Doris Mary Williams-Jones and Alan William Taylor Coldwell, along with numerous nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, cousins and in-laws, and friends who were like family. He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Harry Llewellyn Richards, Ruth Price Richards, Brian Ross Coldwell, and Sheelagh Evelyn Taylor Coldwell.
Visiting hours will take place at Resthaven Funeral Home on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 from 5:00 to 8:00pm, and will resume on Thursday, February 15, 2018 from 10:00 am until services at 11:00am. Burial will follow at Resthaven Gardens of Memory. Pallbearers will be James Marcus Coldwell and Christopher Julien Kent.
The family would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Dr. Vince Cataldo, and the nurses and staff of Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center, who are all now considered honorary Coldwells. They also want to express their enormous gratitude to the staff at The Carpenter House, especially Trygve Olson, who made the brutal task of saying goodbye to their husband, father, brother, son, or friend, into an experience that was, at times, somehow quite beautiful.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Joseph’s Hospice Foundation or Cancer Services of Baton Rouge. The family also requests that those who are able to donate blood consider doing so in Gavin’s name to honor those who donated the many units he required in his near-daily transfusions.
Family and friends may sign the online guestbook or leave a personal note to the family at www.resthavenbatonrouge.com.
I salute from Colombia celebrating the life of our dear Gavin. As a former coworker, I will always remember Gavin's kindness and warming soul every time I passed by the office at Edward Gay Apartments. May God filll his spirit with bright light and peace...my tougths and prayers are with his wife and children.
Beatriz GiraldoBaton Rouge, LA
Your family is in my prayers.
Tamara DangerfieldHammond, LA
Sorry for your loss and for the terrible disease which took Gavin from you. I notice that Gavin was interested in History and thought you may like to learn of the Coldwell history and if so see my site www.coldwell.info. Please contribute your family details using the Contact button on the site. Thank you.
Abigail and Audrey, my sincerest condolences. May you peace and solace in the memory your father.
Mark BarryBaton Rouge, LA
Sending heartfelt condolences to the Coldwell family. Please take comfort in knowing that Gavin soul is resting in peace. We as co-workers will miss him dearly
stephanie gilmoreBaton Rouge, LA
Prayers are being lifted for your entire family and community of friends and loved ones. it was my honor and pleasure to work with Gavin at the Dept. of Civil Service before my retirement. Your lovingly penned obituary so beautifully describes this special soul. Teresa Persick
Teresa PersickCoffeeville, MS
It was a pleasure to take care of Mr. Gavin and his family. I was blessed to meet you all and become apart of the family! 5west will never be the same. The Coldwells have a special place in my heart and I pray that god continues to bless you guys with strength everyday!
Ariel TurnerZachary, LA
So very sorry for your loss. Gavin was a wonderful man. He was always very helpful to HR professionals at Civil Service. May God comfort you during this time.
Cheryl DeesZachary, LA