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LAKELAND - James Harold Coffman, M.D., 90, of Lakeland, died on April 14, 2016, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center after a brief illness.
Dr. Coffman was born on January 15, 1926, in Ness City, Kansas. He grew up in El Dorado, Kansas and attended Westminster College. He later graduated from the University of Kansas and earned his medical degree from The University of Kansas Medical School. Following this time, WWII, he served in the U.S. Navy until 1946, when he was honorably discharged. Dr. Coffman was again called back to service by the U.S. Army and he spent one year on the front lines in Korea as a battlefield surgeon. There he tended the injured in adverse conditions, earning the Bronze Star for his actions in 1953.
Upon return to the United States, he settled back in Kansas where he built a medical clinic in Oberlin, Kansas along with his long-time friend and partner, Dr. Chet Nelson. They practiced internal medicine and provided surgery in that area for 12 years. During this time, Dr. Coffman additionally volunteered as a Medical Missionary in Ganado on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona - one of his greatest pleasures. He returned to the University of Kansas Medical School for a Residency in Radiology in 1968. He then accepted an offer to join the Radiology staff at the Watson Clinic, Lakeland, Florida in 1971.
Dr. Coffman was a faithful member of the First Presbyterian Church, in Lakeland, where he served as an elder, and on various committees - most especially his beloved 'Bigley Boys,' his bible study and discussion group. He was active in several organizations, serving on the board of The Salvation Army, and he was a member of the Polk County Medical Association, American Medical Association and The College of Radiology.
An avid Sailor, Dr. Coffman loved being near the water. He spent many wonderful hours on his sailboat and enjoyed entering races with his sons and friends. After retiring in 1997, he enjoyed many years golfing, was an avid reader, and with his wife, Susanne, traveled many places throughout the United States and abroad. Dr. Coffman was an enthusiastic sports fan - especially college football - and spent many fun times with his friends arguing the merits of one team or another.
Dr. Coffman was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He was preceded in death by his parents, Phoebe Bussy Coffman and Sylvan Harold Coffman; his first wife, Etta Mae Coffman; and his brother, Robert Coffman. He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Susanne Sanders Coffman and his children, David James Coffman (Susan) of Raleigh, North Carolina; Daniel Mark Coffman (Maureen) of Bethel, Connecticut; Douglas Lee Coffman (Janine) of Bradenton, Florida; Albry Joe Peddy (Susan) of Birmingham, Alabama; David Pierce Peddy (Alysia) of Tampa, Florida; Ashley Peddy Fiore (Joseph) of Huntsville, Alabama; his brother, John Coffman (Kaye) of Fredericksburg, Virginia; and his 13 grandchildren.
A celebration of the life of Dr. Coffman will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Lakeland, Florida, on Tuesday, April 19th at 4PM. Family will receive friends in the fellowship hall immediately following the service.
Memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, Florida, 33801, or to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 928, Lakeland, Florida 33802.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.heathfuneralchapel.com .


Funeral Home
Heath Funeral Chapel
328 South Ingraham Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33801
(863) 682-0111
Published in Ledger from Apr. 17 to Apr. 18, 2016
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Lakeland, FL   (863) 682-0111
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