In Remembrance: David D. Coffin ’43, ’47MA Died on December 22 2019

David D. Coffin, JE 1943, died on December 22, 2019, at the age of 97. As he was in a war-advanced class of 1943, he graduated in December of 1942. He was a classics scholar, composing and delivering the Latin poem at graduation. Although a classicist he joined his fellow classmate and cousin Ned Coffin, in being sent right out of Yale to the Navy Japanese language school in Boulder, Colorado, leading to his becoming an officer doing Japanese interpretation and intelligence during the war. After the war he returned to Yale for graduate work in classics and remained a classicist for his entire professional career. Through his teaching of Latin and Greek at Phillips Exeter Academy, he taught many subsequent scholars, some of whom became classics department chairs at major universities. One former student who went on to Yale endowed a classics scholarship in his name.  

He also enjoyed mountain climbing and tennis for most of his life, spending time in the Adirondacks over a 95-year span, and playing tennis for about 80 years. He was a grandson, son, nephew, cousin, uncle, and father of Yalies; the last he was especially happy about, as it was his daughter Sarah ’73 who was in the first year of women, entering in 1969 as a freshman.

Further information on his life can be found on line at the following link:

—Submitted by the family.

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