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1939 Elva 2024

Elva Jewel Coor

March 1, 1939 — July 2, 2024

Tempe

Elva Wingfield Coor passed away peacefully on July 2nd at Mirabella in Tempe, surrounded by her family and her beloved husband Lattie Coor.

Elva was born to Gale and Myrtle Wingfield in Williams, AZ on March 1, 1939, and grew up in the Verde Valley on a dairy farm and ranch. She was always proud of her Arizona and cowgirl heritage. After graduating high school, she enrolled at Arizona State College at Flagstaff (now Northern Arizona University) where her interest in politics blossomed. That passion led her to Washington, D.C. where she worked for Senator Barry Goldwater. Elva became “a Goldwater Girl”, which was one of her many claims to fame. She co-chaired Senator Goldwater’s Arizona committee for his presidential campaign and continued to organize and run many political campaigns in Phoenix for years.

In 1965 Elva married Clarence D. (Skip) Holt and became a loving mother to Eric, Elizabeth, and Stephanie. After her divorce from Skip, she founded A-1 Metro Answering Service which she built into a successful paging and cellular phone business. With her mischievous smile and ready wit, Elva loved telling people she was a “call girl.”

Elva was devoted to her family and her community. She contributed her time and talents to myriad civic boards and committees including the Arizona Historical Society, National Association of Business Women, AWEE, Life Development Institute, Charter 100, Phoenix Art Museum, and the Association of Teleservices International. Elva was instrumental in establishing The Sandra Day O’Connor House and, after her retirement, worked closely with her dear friend and fellow cowgirl Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to promote a robust civics curriculum in Arizona schools.

Elva reconnected with her college friend and former hiking buddy when Lattie Coor was recruited to become the President of Arizona State University. She insisted they were just friends, but their friendship quickly deepened. They married in 1994 and Elva became First Lady of ASU, a role she made her own. She immediately saw the need to introduce the metro Phoenix community to the University and designed and developed the President’s Community Enrichment Program to serve as a bridge to both worlds. This proved to be an extraordinary gift to the Valley, bonding the business and civic leadership with the expertise, research, and resources of ASU. She then co-founded Building Great Communities, another critically successful civic program that benefited the entire state.

Elva received many honors during her lifetime. In 2016 Elva was honored as Valley Leadership’s Woman of the Year. In 2013 she was a Charter 100 Pearl of Wisdom along with her friend and fellow cowgirl Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. She and Lattie received the MLK Jr. Community Service Award and Ambassadors of the Year Award at the Ambassadors Ball 2017, and also that year were honorees at the Celebration of Caring Assistance League. In 2006, she and Lattie were named Trends Fabulous Phoenicians.

Gracious and generous, Elva was also fun and fearless. Her zest for life was infectious. She loved traveling the world and Arizona. She sought out challenges and adventures, especially when hiking and skiing, cycling, or horseback riding. Despite their demanding schedules, she and Lattie set a goal to horseback ride and hike the entire 800-mile Arizona trail. They were among the first people to complete every section of it.

Elva is survived by her husband Lattie Coor and daughters Elizabeth Kosloff and Stephanie (Todd) Lavinia, stepchildren Colin Coor and Farryl (Andre) Bertmann, Lynn Coor, sisters Sally (Robert) Randall and Judy (Cliff) Wood and brother-in-law Larry (Joan) Coor. She will be deeply missed by her adored grandchildren Jason Kosloff, Kayla Kosloff-Deshazo, Maxi and Sebastian Bertmann, Kaiden Coor, Alec Holt, nieces and nephews and many other family members as well as by her legions of friends whom she cherished for the joy they brought to her.

Elva was preceded in death by her parents, brother Roy Wingfield, son Eric Holt, stepson Kendall Coor and brother-in-law Kenny Coor. Her life is a testament to her resilience, abiding love for her family, and extraordinary service to her community. A celebration of Elva’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor her memory may make a donation to PLAN of Arizona, 5025 E Washington St. Suite 112, Phoenix, AZ 85034 www.planofaz.org or call Liz at 602-759-8176. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elva Jewel Coor, please visit our flower store.

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