A man who loved and served God, Desmond T. Coffee ’61 was born in Visalia, California, to Earl J. and Genevieve Coffee. His California legacy stretched back many generations, as his family had been early settlers of Madeira, California. He achieved Eagle Scout and enjoyed attending one of the big Boy Scout Jamborees held at the Irvine Ranch, which later became the Town of Irvine, California. During high school, he was active in student government and established a dance band. He spent many happy times playing music on his saxophone and piano. He graduated from Tulare Union High School as valedictorian of the class of 1956. He entered seminary in Oceanside, California, and spent a year there before transferring to Santa Clara University. He graduated in 1961, just in time to start his Navy career in Pensacola, Florida. Between flight school and advanced flight training in Texas, he married Tiblene Peace in 1961 in San Jose. He continued his career with two tours in Vietnam, flying as NFO in The A3 Sky Warrior jet, which was the largest plane to land on a carrier. He enjoyed the privilege aboard the aircraft carrier, Coral Sea, which was welcomed to Australia for the commemoration of the Battle of the Coral Sea. He was selected to complete his master’s program at American University in international relations, which was followed by a teaching tour at the U.S. Naval Academy. He served the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon on a special task force directed by President Carter. He retired from his Navy career in 1982 and started a new career with Sanders, later BAE, where he worked as a business development manager. When he retired in 2001, his retirement brought him another career as a full-time volunteer. He loved skiing, and spent 11 years as a ski and kayak instructor for the handicap program NEHSA at Mt. Sunapee. Des’ other passion was volunteering for Care Givers; he served as president of the board and spent time as a driver. He wanted so much to help make it possible for the elderly to stay in their homes with assistance. Des left for heaven surrounded by his family at home Wednesday July 19, 2017. He was predeceased by his son, Gavin Coffee, and survived by his wife, Tibby of 55 years; sister Eloise McPeters of Rocklin, California; daughter in-law Heidi Coffee of Seattle, Washington; daughter Deslene and Rob Ackerly of Spokane, Washington; son Brett and Rana Coffee of Seattle, Washington; son Ian and Stefanie Coffee of Las Vegas, Nevada; daughter Alicia Coffee and partner Stacey Blodgett of Concord, New Hampshire; daughter Shannon and Brendon Collins of Melrose, Massachusetts; and 16 grandchildren. 

08 Nov 2018