BUCKFIELD — Carroll Gene Coffman of Buckfield passed away suddenly at the age of 84 on Tuesday, May 30.
He was born as the last child of a large family on August 8, 1932 in Pine Rock Township, Ogle County, Illinois to Charles R. and Wardena “Dinah” (Zell) Coffman.
He graduated from Mt. Morris High School in 1950 and began a career in the military that lasted 27 years. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, transferred to the U.S. Army National Guard in 1958. He became an instructor in the Army reserve in 1973. He officially retired as an E-7 sergeant first class in 1992.
He settled in Buckfield after his service in the Navy and married Gay Norris with whom he had three children. He was employed by several companies over the years in woodworking including Paris Manufacturing, where he was foreman. He was instrumental in the development of new innovations to the Paris sleds including the Golden Falcon. He later became an insurance agent for Prudential and was owner/operator of the Buckfield General Store. He also spent over 30 years involved in harness racing and had been a member of the Maine Harness Racing and Breeders Association. He bred, raised and trained many standardbred horses, including Storm Line Bret. He was also active in the mini horse racing association, teaching young people about harness racing during his retirement. Gene was instrumental in forming the Buckfield Little League, Cub Scouts and the Buckfield Town Basketball Team.
He was a past master of the Masons and had also been a member of the American Legion. He also served a term as selectman for the town of Buckfield and was active in county politics.
He is survived by the last love of his life, his wife, Cheryl (Fothergill) of Buckfield; all of his children and grandchildren, Eric and his wife, Tammie, of Livermore, Neil and his wife, Edith, of Great Falls, Mont., and their daughter, Bethany, of Seattle, Wash., Amy of Greene and her son, Nathan, of Turner, Tori (Victoria) and her children, Hailey and Benjamin, Bryce and Shannon and their children, Ethan and Mikaylah, Travis and Audrey and their children, Caiden, Carley, Cara, Carson and Caleb, all of Buckfield.
He was predeceased by all his immediate family in Illinois and a great-grandson, Callan Eric of Buckfield.
Condolences can be expressed to the family at www.chandlerfunerals.com.