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Ray Edison Coffin, Jr. 82, passed away April 9, 2019 while in hospital in Tavares, FL. Born in Brattleboro, VT on September 26, 1936, he was the son of Ray and Lillian (Ballou) Coffin.
Known to his family and many friends as Junior, he grew up in Fairlee and Orford and graduated from Orford High School.
On May 29, 1965, he married Annie Wiggett, his surviving widow. They had two sons, Ray III and Danny. He was previously married to Glenna Hildreth with whom he had three daughters, Linda, Rhonda and Pamela.
After working for Lange Music Service of Fairlee, he followed in his father’s footsteps and opened the first of two garages. Coffin’s Garage was a presence in Fairlee for over 50 years. Junior was respected for both his ability to diagnose and fix automobiles and his willingness to use his wrecker to rescue accident victims, day or night.
Junior is survived by his widow, and his children: Linda Nault and her husband Raymond of Bradford, Rhonda Besaw and her husband Maurice of Derby, Pamela Coffin of Newport, Ray Coffin III and his wife Tammy of Fairlee and Danny Coffin and his wife Sally of Fairlee. He is also survived by two brothers, Lawrence Coffin and his wife Carolyn of Bradford and James Coffin of Maitland, FL as well as eleven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents and a brother Richard.
In 2016, he was awarded the Vermont Service Award for 55 years of service to the Town of Fairlee, Orange County and the citizens of Vermont. That service included over four decades on the Fairlee Volunteer Fire Department as well as membership in the Fairlee Zoning Board of Adjustment and the Fairlee Development Review Board.
For over 20 years, he was a member of the Orford-Fairlee July 4th parade committee. He organized the participants in the annual parade and encouraged the entry of vintage automobiles. Parade spectators knew the parade was finished when they saw him bringing up the rear in his antique Jeepster. He was also a member of Mt. Cube Masonic Lodge.
From his teen years, he followed his passion for auto racing. In his earlier years, he was a driver on numerous tracks throughout the area. As a spectator, he attended races as far away as Tennessee and Florida. Bear Ridge Speedway in Bradford was his true venue. He had raced for George Barber of Bradford, the original owner of the track. There, Junior was driver, mechanic, official and a constant fixture in the pit. In 2016, he was inducted into the Bear Ridge Speedway Hall of Fame as one of its initial members. His racing car was number 29 and it was recently being restored. Junior’s plan was to do a lap on the opening day at Bear Ridge this May.
Details on celebrations of his life will be posted at a later date. Memories and messages of condolences can be posted at www.baldwincremation.com.