Robert P. “Jasper” Coffman, 69, of Jamestown, died February 8, 2017, succumbing to COPD. He was the loving husband of Karen E. (Nicholson) Coffman, father of Brendan J. Coffman, and grandfather of Cora. He also leaves behind his daughter-in-law Christina, his siblings Carol (Donnie) Pagal, Paul, Noel (Terry) McCue, as well as many nieces & nephews and friends. He was predeceased by his parents Richard O. and May Coffman and brother John.
A true San Francisco native whose relatives survived the 1906 earthquake, Jasper was born in the city on April 9, 1947. He was proud to be descended from Jasper O’Farrell, the civil engineer who laid out the city in the Gold Rush days and who has a main street named in his honor. In addition, he was a Bear Flag Revolt descendant. The family moved to Strawberry in Mill Valley located in Marin County. He loved the Marin headlands, especially Mount Tamalpais as well as sailing on the bay.
After working in the Civil Rights voter registration movement in Mississippi and the Grape Strike in Delano, he settled for a while in San Rafael. From there a dear friend introduced him to Jamestown in 1976. He returned in 1978 to crew a boat to San Francisco, but he missed its sailing. He remained in Jamestown with his soulmate until the end of his days.
As a skilled bookkeeper he last worked at the Marine Museum in Fall River close to his passion, the Titanic, there discovering the Fall River Line steamboats. Lastly, he worked for Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation in the same capacity. He was always enlarging his vast store of nautical knowledge gaining friends along the way.
Visiting hours are omitted by Jasper’s request. Instead, there will be a celebration of his life and friends in the spring. Donations in his name to Rose Island Lighthouse, P.O. Box 1419 Newport, RI 02840 will be gratefully appreciated.
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