University News

WIU Mourns Loss of Facilities Management Employee

September 8, 2020

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University Building Operations Engineer Coy Abernathy, 52, passed away unexpectedly Sept. 5 in Macomb. Graveside services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11 at Archer-Bethel Cemetery, south of Fandon. Visitation will be held from noon-2 p.m. Friday at Clugston-Tibbitts Funeral Home in Macomb. Full military rites will be held at the cemetery.

"The Western Illinois University community mourns Coy's sudden passing. We extend our condolences and thoughts to his family, friends and co-workers," said Western Illinois University Interim President Martin Abraham.

Abernathy began his career at Western in August 2004 as an extra help employee in the WIU Heating Plant. He was hired the next month as a stationary fireman helper, and was promoted to stationary fireman in July 2009. He was named a utility and maintenance repair worker in August 2010, and was named to his current position title in August 2014.

"Coy was loyal and hard worker, and he could always be counted on. No matter when or what was required, he would always answer the call," said Troy Rhoads, executive director, Facilities Management. "Coy was a faithful friend and he will be missed."

Abernathy was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving four years. He later served in the National Guard.

He is survived by his wife, Bev; one daughter, Chyanna; his mother, Jeannette; two half-sisters; three half-brothers; one stepdaughter, Alisha A. Stewart and one stepson, Casey Stewart.

A complete obituary can be found at

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