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Stan Coin still has more work to do at 84
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Photo: Todd Mizener/tmizener@qconline.com
Stanley Coin

ROCK ISLAND -- At age 84, Stanley Coin has cut back his work hours to part time.

"Only 40 hours per week,'' he said jokingly. "I hope no one sees that I'm slacking.''

Mr. Coin is founder of American Bank & Trust, a charter director of the company and bank, who served as president and chief executive officer from 1968 to 2002.

There's nothing part time or slacking about the man behind the bank that began on Rock Island's "Hill.''

"I've slowed some, but my mind is sharp,'' said Mr. Coin, who, for 45 years, guided the fortunes of a company with assets of $380 million, 175 associates, eight locations and 19 ATMs in the Quad-Cities area and northeast Illinois.

"Certainly the banking industry has changed on many fronts since we opened the first branch, but it's still about people and relationships formed through the years,'' he said.

A Rock Islander through and through, Mr. Coin has dedicated his life to his family, faith and community.

"Rock Island is my town, a special, special place,'' said Mr. Coin, a Rock Island High School graduate who attended Augustana College and graduated from St. Ambrose Academy in 1952.

"So many great people in this city, so many who paved the way for me and allowed me to work alongside them.''

Mr. Coin was president and general manager of the family business, Coin Baking Co. in Rock Island, from 1951 to 1978, then was president/Midwestern division of Eagle Food Centers, Lucky Stores Inc., from 1978 to 1983, while also working for the bank.

He's an active member of many community organizations, including Rock Island Rotary, Trinity Health Foundation College of Nursing, the Rock Island/Milan School District and St. George Greek Orthodox Church.

Mr. Coin and his wife, Kay, who have been married 55 years, are huge education supporters, and Mr. Coin is a founding member of the Rock Island/Milan Booster Club.

Deflecting talk of the many contributions he and his wife have made locally, Mr. Coin talked of people from the past who have influenced him and the community.

"Let's start with Mel McKay, who served as mayor and was a tremendous businessman,'' Mr. Coin said. "He led the way for so many great things to happen in this city. The foundation that bears his name still does amazing things. I will never forget his great will and his amazing sense of humor.''

Mr. Coin said the late Isadore Katz was a guiding light along the way, as was Dr. Conrad Bergendoff, the late president of Augustana College.

"The Rotary meeting before Thanksgiving for many years featured a presentation by Dr. Bergendoff,'' Mr. Coin said. "One day in particular, Dr. Bergendoff decided -- and it should noted he was 100 years old -- that he would walk from downtown Rock Island back to Friendship Manor, where he lived.

"He turned down many offers for rides, noting it was a lovely day and the walk would do him good. What an impressive man he was.''

He said the late Charles Austin was another wonderful force during his time as Rock Island schools superintendent.

"He did tremendous work; a great friend, Charlie was,'' said Mr. Coin.

"He came to work for us at the bank in retirement and every paycheck he received from the bank he gave to charity. Wonderful man. I had the good fortune to be around many community all-stars in my day.''

Mr. Coin said the day is coming when he clears his desk for a final time. There is, however, no time or date for such a move. He said he will know when that day arrives.

"It's sooner than later, but nothing is in stone,'' said Mr. Coin. "I've been so fortunate through the years and so proud of what we have done and what we have. There's still work to do, though.''

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