American Patriotic 10

Wayne Coffman

April 23, 2023


Wayne S. Coffman, 94, passed away on April 23, 2023 in Apache Junction, Arizona where he enjoyed spending his winters for several years. He was born on February 23, 1929 to Guy and Amy (Vaughan) Coffman during the depression years. He was the oldest of two boys and the family lived in Cornucopia, Oregon where his father was an electrician at the gold mine.

Cornucopia is located in the Wallowa Mountains and north of Halfway, Oregon. Winters were cold and snow was 10 to 11 feet high. The only access to the town was by a team of horses and sleigh. Food was hauled in and gold mine concentrates were hauled out by the team and sleigh. One could also get out on skis or walking. He went to first and second grade in Cornucopia in a two-room school house. Listening to the radio was a favorite pastime.

During his childhood years his family moved several times for his father to find work as an electrician. Moves included: Halfway Oregon, while Wayne was in second grade; in fourth grade they moved to Burke and Wallace, Idaho; in 1940 they moved to Bremerton, Washington.

In 1947, the family moved back to Halfway, Oregon where his father opened an electrical shop and Wayne attended the Pine Valley High School. He spent the summer working with his father at his shop. In 1948, his father was killed in an accident. Wayne graduated from high school that year and then joined the U.S. Army in 1949. He served in the military for three and a half years during the Korean War helping to set up communication posts.

He returned to Halfway after his military service and worked as a ranch hand for several years. After attending Oregon Technical Institute in Klamath Falls, Oregon, he returned to Halfway and again worked as a ranch hand and in a sawmill in Robinette. He also worked on the Hells Canyon Dam for a year and then moved to Portland, Oregon to drive truck.

In 1955 he married Lynda Kofford and they had five children: Kelly, Guy, Gina, Bonnie and Anne. They divorced in 1970 prior to him moving to Portland, He started driving truck for Boise Cascade in 1971 and retired from Boise in 1993 after 19 and a half years. He moved back to Union, Oregon in 1972 where he purchased a home and remained for several years and began spending winters in Apache Junction, Arizona with his wife, Bonnie Hartwig whom he married on February 4, 2001.

He reported the highlight of his life included helping his grandfather, who was blind, cut wood for his own use and for sale. Wayne would mark the trees so his grandfather could cut them with a cross-cut saw. His grandfather was self-sufficient despite his handicap and Wayne learned a lot from him.

Wayne lived a full life. He enjoyed traveling, fishing, skiing and horses. He especially enjoyed dancing the winter away in Apache Junction at the numerous dances held around the area as well as listening to the sessions that were held.

Wayne was preceded in death by his parents; brother and wife, Bonnie Hartwig. He leaves behind his five children: Kelly Shelton (Ron) of Kennewick, Washington, Guy Coffman of Winnemucca, Nevada, Gina Orr (Michael)  of Winnemucca, Nevada,  Bonnie Cassinelli of Winnemucca, Nevada and Anne Clack Beaverton, Oregon; many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

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