08/11/1941 - 12/02/2019
John Cyril Coggins died of pneumonia on December 2, 2019 at age 78.
Born on August 11,1941 in Honolulu, Hawaii, he was the son of the late Cecil Hengy Coggins and Dorothy Coggins.
John's father was a navy physician who also worked in intelligence. The family worked and lived in countries all over the world. John spent his childhood moving every couple of years, living in various cities in California, Virginia, China, and France, to name a few.
After graduating high school in Vallejo, California, John attended a few different universities, and graduated from Cal State Sacramento in 1964. From 1965-1967 he was in the Peace Corp, working with the indiginous Aymara Indians in the Altiplano of Bolivia, 12 miles from the nearest road. After returning from the Peace Corps he taught at Michigan State University for a few years. He then spent some time living out the hippy dream on a communal farm in Michigan, making candles for a living. He moved to Eugene, Oregon in 1972 where he lived for the rest of his life. In Eugene, he did a fellowship at the University of Oregon business school, taught interpersonal communication and statistics classes, and almost completed his doctorate, if not for an unfortunate house fire that destroyed his thesis. In 1995 he started working at Oregon Research Institute, where he worked until his retirement.
John was interested in black and white photography, developed his own photos, and was an involved member of PhotoZone. His photos were carefully studied works of art. He was given the opportunity to show some of his work in early 2019 at The O'Brien Photo Gallery in Eugene.
John was passionate about the environment, and enjoyed learning about and growing native plants. He was a member of the native plant society, and worked at the native plant nursery. He loved to go out on hikes, where he would often educate others and tell stories about Oregon's beautiful flowers and plants.
He loved to sing, and could remember all of the words to any song he had learned as a child, even after he developed vascular dementia and memory issues in his later life. He sang with the Peace Choir and later with In Accord Community Choir for years, where he developed many valuable friendships. Music was the last thing to leave him as he slipped away, with his wife and loving friends singing with him by his side.
In 2016, John married his partner of 14 years, Marcia Hadley. The ceremony was a beautiful recognition of their ongoing and special love, witnessed by friends and family.
John was known as a quiet, thoughtful, gentle and kind soul. He was extremely bright, with a curious mind. He had a devoted, loving heart, and a unique and creative sense of humor. He was never one to want the spotlight, but found his way to make an impact on people's lives.
John is survived by his wife, Marcia Hadley; his brother and sister-in-law Bill and Margaret Coggins; His sister-in-law Clemency Chase (CC) Coggins; nieces Christa, Laurin, and Sonnet; nephew Dan; grand nieces & nephews Rachel, Speed, Emily, Max, and Arlo. His brother Pete Coggins preceded John in death by just two months, in September 2019.
A memorial for John will be held on Sunday, January 12, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at Wellsprings Friends School/ Eugene Mennonite Church, 3590 W 18th Ave, Eugene, Oregon. As John was very fond of sweets and coffee, a dessert reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Native Plant Society (http://emerald.npsoregon.org/
), Nature Conservancy, Audubon Society, Mckenzie River Trust(https://www.mckenzieriver.org/
), or other environmental organizations.
Please sign the guest book at www.registerguard.com/legacy