Stephen E. Coffin ’62 died on December 25, 2022, in Ellsworth, Maine.
(The following was provided by the Ellsworth American on January 10, 2022)
Stephen (Steve) E. Coffin was born in Boston, Mass., on Jan. 15, 1940, to C. Kathleen (Robinson) Coffin and Dr. Ernest La Pierre Coffin. He died on Dec. 25, 2022, due to complications from a stroke.
He grew up in Northeast Harbor and attended Mount Desert High School in Northeast Harbor, where he met many lifelong friends, learned how to play the tuba, developed a love for literature and words and spent many happy hours hunting, fishing and cultivating a lifelong devotion to nature conservancy. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1962, was a member of the Bowdoin Marching Band, and brother in the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity. Steve was delighted to attend his 55th college reunion in 2017. He loved his years at Bowdoin and maintained friendships with many of his fraternity brothers until his stroke in November 2021.
In the summer of 1959, he met his wife, Myrna (Tucker), in Northeast Harbor. They were married in 1963 and lived in Hancock for fifty-six years. He and Myrna spent many happy years raising their children, wrangling many golden retrievers and other wayward dogs, adopting a number of shelter cats and spending time with friends from Hancock, Ellsworth, Mount Desert Island, and beyond. From grooming cross-country ski trails, to hours spent on crossword puzzles to hunting ducks and deer in the Maine woods with his friends, he exercised a keen and often cutting wit and intelligence and a curiosity for life, words, and people.
Steve taught English at Ellsworth High School for thirty-one years, introducing his students to the classics through approachable methods for that time — pairing Conrad with “Apocalypse Now” to bring “Heart of Darkness” to life. He coached cross-country and indoor and outdoor track for over twenty years. He and his teams won six state championship cross-country (X-C) titles (boys’ X-C 1976, 1977, 1979 and 1981 and girls’ X-C 1977 and 1978) and nine Eastern Maine Regional X-C titles. Steve took immense pride in the successes of the athletes he had the honor of training and learning so much from. In sum, he loved teaching, coaching and watching his students and athletes thrive, working with them to excel individually and as part of a team. Never was he happier than when he was out encouraging his runners as they ran sprints on the back roads of Ellsworth or calling out split times during a track meet, or when he might have been acting out the role of Golum from “The Hobbit” for all to hear inside his classroom and in classrooms nearby at Ellsworth High School.
Steve also dedicated his time over the years to many local and county organizations. Some of those include: Frenchman Bay Conservancy, Hancock Historical Society, Hancock Town Planning Board and the Mount Desert Island Hospital Board.
He is survived by his wife, Myrna, daughter Jane, son Silas, brother James (Jim) Coffin and sister-in-law Elizabeth Coffin and brother-in-law Brian Tucker and wife, Kathryn, and sister-in-law Bonnye and her husband, Robert Doyon. Steve was predeceased by Silas A. Coffin, an infant brother.
The family would like to thank the staff at Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor and the staff at Courtland Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Ellsworth for the great care provided over the last year.