Mr. Fredric Dee “Fred” Coffey
February 26, 1932 ‒ February 17, 2019
Mr. Fredric Dee “Fred” Coffey, 86, of Marion, passed away Sunday morning at his home with family at his side.
Born Feb. 26, 1932, in Marion, the son of Harold and Avis Coffey, he was a 1950 graduate of Harding High School and a 1954 graduate of Bowling Green State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education with a minor in Journalism. On June 13, 1954, he married his high school sweetheart, the former Rosalie Evelyn Walker, with whom he shared more than 64 years of marriage. She survives.
Mr. Coffey was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving with the U.S. Occupation Forces in Germany. In addition to his duties as a cryptographer, he was a sportswriter for Stars and Stripes Newspaper, traveling throughout Europe to provide coverage of military athletic contests.
For three decades, Mr. Coffey taught high school in Marion County. His first position was at Caledonia High School prior to his induction into the service. After returning from Germany, he accepted a teaching position at Prospect High, where he taught until that school’s consolidation into the Elgin School District. It was at Elgin High where he spent the remainder of his teaching career, retiring in 1984. At Elgin, Mr. Coffey taught Speech, American History, Government, Journalism and Problems of Democracy. He also served as the school’s yearbook adviser. In addition to his teaching career, he also was a sportswriter and correspondent for The Marion Star and other central Ohio newspapers for many years.
It was while at Elgin that Mr. Coffey developed and implemented his own history class, Famous Americans, which encouraged students to do in-depth research on a notable American individual of their choice. The class grew so popular that years after having graduated, former students would approach him to reminisce about their projects.
Mr. Coffey also was heavily involved in the school’s athletic programs, serving as the “Voice of the Comets” as announcer for the Elgin football team. He was the official scorer for the Comet basketball squad and the Central District Basketball Tournament, and was a co-founder of the Elgin Relays, where he served as Meet Director for many years. Mr. Coffey also emceed numerous Elgin athletic banquets. He continued his athletic involvement in retirement, serving as the official scorer for the Ridgedale High School girls basketball team.
Family always came first for Mr. Coffey, but his second love was Alabama Crimson Tide football. His den was a tribute to The Tide and legendary Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, including oil paintings, Alabama souvenirs and mementoes, and his prized collection of Crimson Tide hats. He also loved the Christmas season, and his numerous themed Christmas trees and other seasonal decorations became a stop on holiday home tours.
In addition to his loving wife, Mr. Coffey is survived by three children: Kevin (Margaret) Coffey of Massillon; Kyle (Vince) Miller of Clover, S.C.; and Kara (Todd) Galyk of Morral. Survivors also include 12 grandchildren: Fred Coffey, Rachel Kuebeck, Sarah Warren, Daniel Coffey and Michael Coffey; Lindsey Gardner and Lauren Murphy; Megan Benninger and Jake Galyk; and Courtney McClaskey, Chris Coffey and Kimberly Humphreys. Also surviving are 16 great-grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Coffey was preceded in death by a son, Kim Coffey; grandchildren Robert Coffey and Amelia Coffey; a sister, Sue Ann Hoffman, and a sister-in-law, Marjorie Longacre.
The family would like to thank Ohio Health Hospice and Julie Miley, RN, for their loving care and special thanks to the Pastor Ryan Strother for his spiritual support.
At Mr. Coffey’s request, there are no calling hours. A private family funeral service is planned Thursday afternoon at Snyder Funeral Homes, Denzer Chapel with burial in Marion Cemetery. Memorial contributions, if desired, may be made to Central Baptist Church, 2816 Marion Waldo Road, Marion, Ohio 43302.
The Snyder Funeral Homes of Marion are honored to be serving the Coffey family; condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com