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.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.