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Harlan “Dada” Sewell Coffman

Greenville Herald Banner
Sunday, Oct 8, 2006

Harlan “Dada” Sewell Coffman, 94, of Greenville died Friday, Oct. 6, 2006, at North Hills Hospital in Fort Worth. Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 9, 2006, at Coker-Mathews Funeral Home chapel with Gordon Grammer and Robert Gabhart officiating. Burial is in Memoryland Memorial Park. Harlan was born in Granite, Okla. on Jan. 6, 1912, to A.S. and Myrtie Sue Sewell Coffman. He married Lois Purdy on May 15, 1932, in Weatherford, Okla. He earned his bachelors degree from Weatherford State Teachers College and a masters degree in education from Texas Tech University. Standing six foot-five in his prime, Harlan played basketball in various forms until he was 86. In his twenties, he played in a game against “Goose” Tatum and the Harlem Globetrotters. Reaching the rank of captain of the Army Air Corps, he was stationed in Italy during World War II as an educational instructor. Harlan taught school in Oklahoma, Texas and California. He was the first principal of Walt Disney Elementary School in Anaheim, Calif. During his career in education, he was math teacher, vice principal, principal, interim superintendent and personnel manager. After retiring, Harlan was a cattle rancher in Fort Towson, Okla. and in Commerce.

A long-time Christian, Harlan served for 40 years as an elder in Churches of Christ in California and Texas, including Southside Church of Christ in Greenville.

Harlan was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 65 years, Lois, and great-granddaughter, Alexandra “Lexi” Barbour. He is survived by his brother, John Coffman; daughter Charlotte Jobe and husband, Bob; daughter, Jane Weaver and husband, Dean; nine grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren, “who never bothered him;” and many nephews and nieces. Pallbearers are Barry Weaver, Todd Jobe, Wes Weaver, Thomas Weaver, Kelly Johnson, Chris Conerty and Matthew Allen.

Memorials may be made to Prairie Project of Gilliland Elementary School in Blue Mound. Visitation is today from 4 to 6 p.m. at the funeral home.

Submitted by Elaine Nall Bay

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