Richard H. Coffin, 92: a dedicated member of the community
PORTLAND— Richard H. Coffin, 92, died at home Sept. 26. He was born the son of Harold W. and Grace B. Coffin, June 27, 1920 in Portland, the eldest of five children.
Coffin grew up in Bangor, earned his Eagle Scout award in 1936, and graduated from Bangor High School and its ROTC program in 1938. He continued his studies as well as his ROTC training at the University of Maine, Orono, and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in 1942. Deploying as a member of the 96th Signal Battalion, he served in the China/Burma/India Theater through 1945.
At the end of World War II, Coffin returned to the university where he completed his studies in electrical engineering, resumed his memberships in Sigma Alpha Epsilon and the rifle team, and met his future wife, Nancy. Following his graduation in 1948, Coffin married, was hired by Bell Telephone, and moved with Nancy to New Jersey where he worked for 34 years in data transmission and design.
Throughout Coffin's life he dedicated much time and effort to his church, his community, and youth programs where he often took a leadership role. He continued his lifetime commitment to scouting by starting and leading Cub Pack 142 for 6 years, serving as Scoutmaster of Troop 142 for 14 years and culminated his service as the Maine Pine Tree Council Round Table Commissioner. In recognition of his many contributions, he was elected to receive Vigil Honors in the Order of the Arrow and awarded the Silver Beaver.
Coffin was an active member of the Presbyterian Church on-the-Green in Morristown, N.J., from 1948 through 1982, and has been a member of the Day’s Ferry Congregational Church in Woolwich since returning to Maine. During that time he also continued his military service to the nation in the National Guard and Army Reserve, retiring in 1970 as a Lt. Col. after 28 years in uniform.
While Coffin could often be found in a leadership role as the president of his community association, he could just as often be found swinging a hammer, an axe, or any other building tool to help a friend, neighbor, or civic organization. At the same time, he was willing to set his tools aside and volunteer his time to other causes that were important to him such as the Maine Maritime Museum and the Telephone Pioneers’ Infant Hearing Program.
Coffin is survived by his wife of 64 years, Nancy R., of Woolwich; his children, Richard H. Coffin Jr. and his wife, Diane, of Springfield, Va., Cynthia Zadai and her husband, Scott Johnson, of Concord, Mass., Nancy Lombreglia and her husband, Lawrence, of Hampton, N.J., and Andrea Norton and her husband, Clinton, of Salem, Mass.; three sisters, Marguerite Coffin, of Beaverton, Ore., Olive Hart, of Nobleboro, Lois Ensberg, of Minnetonka, Minn.; nine grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and numerous loving nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his son, Dan Christopher Coffin, and his sister, Judith Golightly.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 at the Day’s Ferry Congregational Church, 50 Old Stage Road, Woolwich, with Rev. Dr. Alan Baughcum officiating. A reception hosted by the church will take place immediately following the service in Johnson Hall. A private graveside service will be held later.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: Day’s Ferry Congregational Church, 50 Old Stage Road, Woolwich, ME 04579; or CHANS Hospice/Homecare, 60 Baribeau Drive, Brunswick, ME 04011.