Cover photo for Ray "Skip" Coffman's Obituary
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1932 Ray "Skip" 2022

Ray "Skip" Coffman

April 25, 1932 — March 7, 2022


Living a full and active life for almost 90 years is a blessing. 


Ray Arlan (Skip) Coffman was born on April 25, 1932 on the family homestead just outside of South English, to parents Eva (Smith) and Harry Coffman.  He was the third child, joining sister, Mary Virginia (Ginger), and brother, George.  His youngest sister, Lois, would complete the family.


In 1934, Skip received the Iowa State Fair “Baby Boy Health Improvement Champion” award and had the trophy to prove it.  He attended Locust Grove School, South English High School, and graduated with the last class from SEHS in 1949.  He proudly served in the United States Navy from enlistment in January 1951 to his Honorary Discharge in May 1952.  Skip then returned home to the family farm.  During a trip to Cedar Rapids to see a girlfriend, he loaned Lois his car.  Lois and  her nursing school friend, Barbara J. (Ozz) Osmundson,  drove it all over town.  Somewhere along the way, a girlfriend was lost and a new girlfriend was found.  And, as the story goes, the rest is history.  On November 23, 1957, he married Ozz at First Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids.  The couple settled in the farm house near South English and Skip continued farming.  They became the parents of Pamela, Curt, and Clark.  In 1977, they moved to Kalona where Skip worked for H.J. Heinz.  Skip and Ozz enjoyed their kids’ activities, attending Iowa Women’s collegiate athletic games, traveling to all 50 states, and riding their Honda Gold Wing motorcycle.  Skip found a great pastime in family genealogy and was known to answer a question with a question.  He delighted in finding solutions to problems, big or small.  After losing part of his hand in a corn picker accident, he found ways to write, bale hay, and continued doing almost everything he did before.  He was a 50+ year Mason with the Webb Lodge #182 AF & AM.  Skip and Ozz relocated to Independent Living at Halcyon House in Washington in August, 2021.  Skip passed away on March 7, 2022 at his home at Halcyon House.  He will be greatly missed by his wife of 64 years, Barb/Ozz, daughter, Pam Gretter of Harper, son, Clark Coffman (Jo Anne Powell) of Ames, grandchildren, Tim (Naomi) Gretter of Harper, Beth (Ryan) Hanselman of Sigourney, Alexandria (Aleca) Coffman and Ian Coffman, both of  Ames, great grandkids, Hannah and Clara Hanselman, and Blake, Bailey, and Becca Gretter.  He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Ginger, George, and Lois; son, Curt Coffman; and son-in-law, Tony Gretter. 


Private family services will be held at a later date.  Yoder-Powell Funeral Home in Kalona is caring for Skip and his family.  Tributes may be made at







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