Ronald S. Coffler
Ronald S. Coffler, 80, of Rockford passed away on Monday, October 31, 2016. Ron was born in Alton, Illinois, on December 29, 1935. He graduated from Alton High School in 1954 and from St. Louis College of Pharmacy in 1958, including participation & leadership in Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity. He then joined the U.S. Army Reserve (1958-1964) and was a medic. In the Alton area, Ron was primarily in retail pharmacy. He also did relief work at Wood River and St. Anthony’s Hospitals. In his early days as a pharmacist, the Army called for Ron to serve at a flood zone in Oklahoma. (This made his Mother furious. She would say, “My son spent four years and a small fortune becoming a pharmacist, and THEY want him to fill sand bags…how ridiculous!)
In search of better opportunities for his family, Ron landed a position at Swedish American Hospital in Rockford, IL, where he worked through retirement age. He returned to retail work at O’Brian Dobbins in Belvidere, IL, where he retired in 2004. Ron continued to work relief with the Snyder chain.
Younger Years: Beginning in 1968, Ron began his service to individuals with Developmental Disabilities, first at the local level to provide public school education for all… including his child. Ron was devoted to his work for the ARC of Illinois and was President of the Executive Board for 8 years. This group of ARC professional staff and concerned parents were instrumental in the creating and in the passing of Illinois Public Law 94-142. This established public school education for all individuals with special needs. As a result of the work of Ron and many others, the special needs services of Rockford provided his child with a ‘great life’. Ron would want to give a HUGE thank you to Milestone, Inc., Growth Enterprises, Goodwill Abilities Center, job coaches through The Department of Rehab Services, and very kind bus drivers (especially George Vestal) at Rockford Mass Transit. We would also like to express our gratitude to Dr. Eric Trautmann, Dr. Vikas Bhatara and staff of Swedish American Hospital for the quality and compassionate care of our loved one.
Ron was a sweet, strong presence in the lives of many, exemplifying strength and good character. He leaves his wife, Nancy Thomas Coffler, declaring it the best 40 years of his life; his son, Douglas Coffler (Kara) of Minneapolis, Minnesota; his daughter, Joanna (Janna) Coffler of Rockford, Illlinois; his daughter, Holly Coffler Fernando (Shaminda) of Fairborn, Ohio; his brother, Duane Coffler (Christine) of Puyallup, Washington; his grandchildren, Samantha and Jocelyn Coffler, Elaina and Emma Jane Fernando.
The family will have a private service on Crooked Island, Florida. Ron’s charity of choice is Milestone, Inc., 4060 McFarland Rd., Loves Park, IL 61111, or contributions to any charity of your choice is most welcome. Honquest Family Funeral Home with Crematory, Loves Park, IL, is honored to assist the family. To share a memory or express condolences, visit honquestfh.com.