Coe, Former EJL CEO, Dies at 57

LOS ANGELES Dennis Robert Coe, former chief executive officer of Eisaman, Johns & Laws Advertising, died here Oct. 23 due to complications resulting from a bone-marrow replacement earlier this year. He was 57.

Coe spent most of his childhood in the Midwest, later heading to California to continue his post-high school education. A graduate of California State University-Long Beach, he earned an MBA at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., and began his business career as a senior market analyst in consumer electronics at Rockwell International.

In 1974, Coe joined Los Angeles-based independent EJL as a marketing researcher and planner, thus beginning a 30-year career in the Southern California advertising community. Coe was promoted to EJL president and CEO in 1985; in this role, he oversaw strategic marketing direction for clients including Neutrogena, Black & Decker, Pennzoil and the Southern California Gas Co.

When EJL merged with Lois USA of New York in 1997, Coe remained with the organization as board member and head of Western operations for nearly two years. In 1999, he created an independent brand-consulting relationship with Den-Mat, the Los Angeles corporation that until recently owned Rembrandt Toothpaste.

Throughout his adult life, Coe was involved in organizations including the Mayor’s Private Industry Council for Los Angeles, the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the L.A. Children’s Museum. Although he was known to live up to an “always busy at work” reputation, he often said there was nothing he enjoyed more than spending time with his family, on camping trips or just relaxing at their home in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

Coe is survived by his wife, Phyllis, and two college-aged children, Hillary and Whitney.

A late-October mass was held in Coe’s honor at Rancho Palos Verdes’ St. John Fisher Catholic Church. He was buried in his family’s cemetery plot in Milan, Ind.