I must thank the many who have e-mailed me with info concerning this query. Here are excerpts of info I've received to date concerning this matter:
S. Mendenhall of Fayetteville was sweet to offer a lookup as she has owns a copy of the Coats book and is related to Emily Catherine Coats Johnson's line thru her daughter Eliza Ann Johnson who married James Marion Parrish. She wrote, "Mr Coats has been dead many many years. His daughter Judy lives in Smithfield though and if you contact the Johnston Co. Heritage Center's Director Todd Johnson, he can put you in touch with her."
A semi-professional, Joel M. of Raleigh,found that Columbus Stanton Coats born 23 Sep 1905 died 28 Dec 1988 resident of Smithfield,Johnston,NC.
Mark Valsame also of Raleigh concurred that Mr. Coats died in 1988 following many years of declining health. Mark continues: Copies of his book were for sale at one time at the Johnston County Heritage Center, but have sold out. Todd Johnson is the curator of the Johnston County Heritage Center in Smithfield. They are one of the best county facilities for local history and genealogy in the state of North Carolina. Their web address is: http://126.96.36.199/mainpage.cfm?category_level_id=436
Mark is a descendant of Alvin Coats son of William and Sarah (Stephenson) Coats and in my estimation is quite an impressive researcher.
I am really impressed with the level of knowledge and interest that the descendants of the Johnston County, NC families have for their ancestors. They really show how much they care for those who have come before.