Coffey, Clyde “Richard”

CLYDE “RICHARD” COFFEY Richard passed away on Thursday, January 7, 2016 at the age of 91 years of age. Richard was born on November 21, 1924 in Eureka, California to William Adolph Coffey and Abigail Elizabeth Selvage. He attended Eureka schools, Humboldt State College, and many years later graduated from College of the Redwoods. During his Junior and High School years, he worked in his father’s Cherry Blossom Bakery. This was to teach his younger brother Carlton and himself the value of a dollar which they didn’t receive until their third year in high school, and of course it kept them from getting into trouble on Saturdays. During his early high school years he was a member of the Eureka Chapter of DeMolay, and from grammar school through college, and Church he was involved in singing in Glee Clubs, Choirs, and A-Cappella Groups. In his adult life, he sang for five seasons with Humboldt Light Opera organized by the Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods, with his voice range as a tenor. In March 1943, Selective Service called and he volunteered for the U.S. Navy. After boot camp at Farragut, Idaho, he applied for Hospital Corps School and received training at Balboa Park, San Diego, California. After several months and attaining the rank of Pharmacist Mate Third Class Petty Officer, he was drafted into the Fleet Marine Force for Field Medical Training. Several weeks later he was assigned to the 52nd Replacement, 1st Marine Division. A month later he received notice that he was advanced to Second Class Petty Officer. He saw war action at Peleliu Island in the South Pacific and while he was giving first-aid to a wounded Marine, he was wounded on the 12th day of battle. During these days he never had to dig his own foxhole or get his own drinking water, as a Marine would come up at his own peril and say “I’ll take care of this while you check on the men!” From October 1950 to January 1952, he was called back into service during the Korean War. He served again with the Fleet Marine Forces as Physician’s Assistant at Mare Island Hospital, USS Washburn AKAIUG and USSLSM 362, as the only medical person with a company of about 78 men, this was a big challenge for him, but he took it on! He also graduated from Western Police Academy under the GI Bill in Oakland, California. He joined the Eureka Police Department in March of 1949, and retired in December of 1974, with just over 25 years of service. He then was employed as a police officer at the College of the Redwoods for 1 1/2 years. When the City of Eureka started Eureka Bus Lines, he was one of the first new drivers for the next 1 1/2 years. He then was asked to organize five offices in the Oakland, California bay area to sell bottled water during the drought period of northern California. After the drought subsided he worked for Larry and Mike Renner of Union Oil Distribution of Eureka for the next six years. Because of health issues, he retired from employment. Richard, along with family, attended the First Christian Church Disciples of Christ on 7th and K Streets in Eureka, California. As an adult he served as Vice Chairman of the Church Board and twice as President. When the Eureka Ministerial Association was formed, he was asked to be their first Treasurer for the next seven years and then their Vice President for 1 1/2 years. A short time later he became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and eight years later when the Eureka Ward divided, Richard was called to be the first Bishop of the new Eureka Second Ward. During his life, he has served many leadership positions in the Church, two Stake Missions in Eureka, and a third with his wife Ardell in Miranda, California. In 1997, he and his wife Ardell moved to Mesa, Arizona to be with their daughter Lori and four grandchildren Jessica, Garrett, Katelynn and Emily. He and his wife served four years in the Mesa Arizona Temple, and a Church Mission a the Mesa Regional Family History Center. Richard’s mother was from a family of 15 children and his father was from a family of 7 children, therefore he had many aunts and uncles and cousins, and as a family, they enjoyed get-togethers and picnics in the Redwoods or at the beach. He was preceded in death by his wife Ardell, his father Adolph and step-mother Hilda, his mother Abbie and his step-father Dr. Keith Hamner, his brother Carlton and sister-in-law Joanne, his nephew Craig Coffey, and nephew-in-law Jerry Felt. Richard was married to Ardell for 65 years and is survived by his daughter Lori Beth Shontell and her husband Michael Shontell; three grand-daughters, Jessica and her children Landon and Kamber, Katelynn and her husband Leo Ponce and their daughter Kiera, and Emily and her daughter Ella; and grandson, Garrett Greenhalgh; and Michael Shontell’s daughters, Quincie Shontell, and Michelle Greene and her husband Steve and their children Madison, Ethan, and Tucker. He is also survived by his niece Janice Felt and her sons, Jesse R. Smith, and Jason Robison and his wife Cecilia, and his niece Wenda Jane Coffey. Richard will be recognized and honored for his services in the military and by submission from his grand-nephew Jesse Smith a Certificate of Remembrance for his services with Eureka Police Department. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at 10:00 am, Mariposa Gardens, 400 S. Power Road, Mesa, Arizona. Websites are at and at under Obituaries.

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