Coates also served as assistant editor of The Frontier, a relatively brief-lived but respected literary publication of The University of Montana. In that capacity she frequently corresponded with author and editor, Montana literary lion H.G. Merriam, and became acquainted with William Saroyan, a young man in San Francisco who became one of America’s celebrated writers. He always credited Coates with influencing his work. She also regularly exchanged letters with Montana author Frank Bird Linderman, artist Charles M. Russell, art historian James Rankin, and others. Coates died in Bozeman, Montana, in 1976 at the age of 94.