July 28, 1921 - April 15, 2016
July 28, 1921 - April 15, 2016
William (Bill) Nelson Coffey passed away peacefully at home early Friday morning, April 15, 2016 with his loving family by his side. Bill was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 28, 1921, the son of George Nelson Coffey and Clara Kean Coffey. After his mother’s death, he was raised in Wooster, Ohio by his father and Clara Kean’s sister, Frances, where he attended Wooster High School and graduated from the College of Wooster in 1943 with a B.A. degree. He went on to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving both B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering in 1948. During World War II, he was with the Signal Corps, serving in Bamburg, Germany as a radio officer in the 97th Signal Battalion.
Bill married Florence Jane Townsend in October 1945, and after World War II, they moved to Scotia, NY and then later to Charlton, NY. He was employed as an electrical engineer by the Corporate Research and Development Center of the General Electric Company, and contributed to many programs, including color television development, microwave diode parametric amplifiers, thermoplastic video recording, medical ultrasonic systems, ultrasonic metal flaw detectors and the design of specialized electronic circuits, receiving two patents in this field. He retired from the laboratory in 1980 after 32 years of service.
Bill’s interests included amateur astronomy, photography, amateur radio station W2PX, 40-year membership in the Schenectady Amateur Radio Association and a 42-year membership in the Adirondack Baroque Consort, a performing musical group, playing on replicas of ancient instruments such as recorders, krumhorns and cornamuse. He received the Paul Harris Award during his membership in the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Rotary Club. A member of the Burnt Hills United Methodist Church for over 60 years, he taught Sunday school class, served as trustee and sang in the Chancel Choir.
He is survived by his wife, Florence Jane Coffey of Charlton, a daughter Dr. Barbara Jane Coffey and Dr. Richard Skodnek, her partner of 24 years, of Lake Success, NY; a daughter, Kittie Coffey Bintz of Ballston Spa, NY; a son, Richard G. Coffey and wife Cristina Coffey of Stamford, CT; three granddaughters: Briannan Bintz, Taryn Bintz Burt and her husband Andrew Burt, Caitlyn Bintz; and grandson Gregory William Coffey. Also surviving is a brother-in-law, Dr. Ted Townsend of Penney Farms, FL.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 11:00 am at Burnt Hills United Methodist Church, 816 Route 50, Burnt Hills, NY 12027.
Interment will be in Sweetman Cemetery, Charlton, NY.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Burnt Hills United Methodist Church.
With confidence, the family has placed their trust in the loving care of the Townley & Wheeler Funeral Home, 21 Midline Road, Ballston Lake NY, and they encourage you to view and leave messages on Mr. Coffey’s Book of Memories at www.TownleyWheelerFH.com
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