The Rev. John M. Coffee, Jr. died on May 8, 2012. He was 83 years old.
Coffee was born in Tacoma, WA on November 20, 1928 to John M. and
Lillian S. Coffee. Rev. Coffee attained a Bachelor of Arts degree from
Yale University in 1951. He then went on to earn a Bachelor of Sacred
Theology and a Master of Sacred Theology from Harvard Divinity School in
1954 and 1956, respectively.
Rev. Coffee was ordained
by the First Unitarian Church of Tacoma, WA on August 15, 1954. From
there, he was called to the First Church in Roxbury, MA and served as
its Minister from 1955-1977. He served the Church of Our Father in East
Boston, MA from 1961-1974; and the Benevolent Fraternity of Unitarian
Universalist Churches from 1978-1982. As an interim minister, he served
at the First Universalist Society of Providence, RI from 1977-1979. He was
Minister Emeritus at the First Unitarian Church in Roxbury from 1977
until the end of his life. He also served as president of the Boston
Rev. Coffee taught for 39
years (1966-2005) at Emerson College in Boston, MA. As a longtime
faculty member and eventual Professor Emeritus of History, Rev. Coffee
was known by colleagues and students, alike, as a "talented storyteller
who brought history alive in his classroom.” He was also one of the
authors of A Century of Eloquence, a large volume on the history of Emerson College.
Rev. Coffee was an avid
collector of transportation tokens. In fact, at the time of his death,
he owned the world’s largest collection of transportation tokens. He was
the author of several books on the matter including Land Company and Real Estate Tokens, Automobile Washing Tokens, and The Atwood-Coffee Catalogue of United States and Canadian Transportation Tokens.
Rev. Coffee is survived by loving friends, colleagues and students. At this time, a memorial service has not been scheduled.