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Claude "Bob" Coe

Claude M. “Bob” Coe, 96, of the Siloam Springs area passed away Tuesday morning, August 29, 2017 at Ozark Terrace Nursing home (the Highlands of Northwest Arkansas).


Bob was born on August 3, 1921 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a son of the late Emmett Claude and Bess Coe. He was known as the “King of Gypsies” having devoted his time as Camp Director for Gypsy Camp for Girls located on the Illinois River south of Siloam Springs from 1955 to 1978.  His legacy lives on in the historical buildings and campground of Gypsy Camp which was placed on the National Historical Register of Historic Places in 1988 by Governor Bill Clinton. 


He is survived by his daughter, Claudia Baron and husband Roger of Siloam Springs, AR; 3 Grandchildren, Melissa Lee of Houston, TX, Sarah Baron-Houy and husband Josh of Rapid City, SD, and Shawna Baron and husband Myke Bates of Springfield, MO:  One Great Grandson, Snowden Houy of Rapid City, SD, and one Great Step Granddaughter, Jordyn Lee of Houston, TX; very close friends, Kim and Terri Eldridge of Siloam Springs, AR.  Pastor Wayne Thomas and Kind at Heart Ministries provided valuable assistance, physical and spiritual, to Bob during last several years of Bob’s life. 


Bob is preceded in death by his father and mother, Emmett Claude and Bess Coe, wife, Daisy Coe, and his sister, Joan Coe.


Memorial Services will be held at the Backstrom-Pyeatte Chapel on Monday, September 4, 2017 at 1:00 pm. Pastor Wayne Thomas will officiate the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in his name may be made to the Kind At Heart Ministries, P.O. Box 6932, Siloam Springs, AR  72761.  The cremation arrangements were entrusted to Backstrom-Pyeatte Funeral Home of Siloam Springs. To sign the online guestbook, visit www.Backstrom-Pyeatte.com 

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Claude Coe, please visit our flower store.


I was a camper during the 60s and 70s. I have very fond memories of camp gypsy but mainly of the family bond Bob and Daisy made me feel apart of. It was a home away from home. Bob was very generous with his time and caring for all campers. During the 4 weeks I spent there each summer he made sure that I and other campers went to a Catholic Church in Siloam springs. River trips at camp were memorable. They were usually early morning and we would float the Illinois river stop to cook breakfast and drink hot chocolate. Thanks so much for the memories Bob! My condolences go to his family and many friends. I am happy he touched my life!

Marian Healy Shagman Jan 11 2020 12:00 AM

Bob was a kind and generous man to all of us campers at Gypsy Camp. May he rest in peace. My condolences to the family. God bless you all.

Kim Hendricks Sep 6 2017 12:00 AM

It was a cold morning on a winter day when I first met Bob. Serving people that needed help in the ice storm is what brought us together. From that day forward My life was impacted thru an ongoing relationship with a hard working man who loved his camp. I am honored to call him my brother in Christ. May His legacy be remembered in all of us.
Bro. Wayne

Wayne Thomas Sep 3 2017 12:00 AM

Very sorry for your loss. But wow what a life he had. That's a legacy you can always hold dear. Love you all.

Suzy Oberholtz Aug 31 2017 12:00 AM

I was privileged to meet "Bob" recently and I have to say I am pleased to have had the opportunity. I will also cherish the beautiful rock he gave me. I don't really understand the significance it has in my life, but it does.
Thank you Claudia for sharing Bob with Val and I.

Doris Thurman Aug 30 2017 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Claude Coe

Dana Hutton Aug 30 2017 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Claude Coe

Berta Hutton Aug 30 2017 12:00 AM

Having the Gypsy Camp, Bob loved to help others see the beauty of nature and teach the skills they needed to enjoy the camp activities.
We liked visiting with him in the old cabin and under the cliffs and walking along the river enjoying its beauty and reminiscing times he and Daisy shared with all their guests at the camp. We also enjoyed the many pictures and magazines he had to share. He will be missed by many.
Bill and Marilyn Jackson

Bill and Marilyn Jackson Aug 30 2017 12:00 AM

RIP our Gypsy King. What a legacy he and Daisey, Miss Etta, and Miss Coe leave us. He will live forever in our minds and through stories told to our decendents. Oh to be in that magical place for just one more summer, between the bluffs and the Illinois River. Sending sincere condolences to his family.

Betty Williams Westbrook Aug 30 2017 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Claude Coe

Laura Jones Evans Aug 30 2017 12:00 AM

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