Erlend Coffin Sunday, July 27, 1930 - Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Erlend would like to let you know that his launch into heaven was successful. Lift off was on June 7, 2017 from Santa Maria.
Erlend was born in Turlock, California to Robert and Alta Coffin on July 27, 1930. He graduated from Denair High School in 1949. He attended the University of the Pacific and in 1950, he married his high school sweetheart, Ruth Whitsell.
He worked for Western Electric in Merced for a year. Then in 1952, he attended Pacific Radio and TV School in San Francisco and set up a TV and radio repair shop repairing TV and radio sets. In 1955, he joined the Naval Reserves and was honorably discharged in 1960. In 1956, he worked for Frank Perez Co. where he was sent to Adana, Guam to set up their first TV station. He returned to California and enrolled in California State Polytechnic College in San Luis Obispo to obtain an engineering degree. In 1959, he moved his family to Santa Maria and went to work for Lockheed Missiles and Space at VAFB as an electronics engineer. He worked on the Thor-Agena Spacecraft and payloads launched from the Atlas and Titan boosters. He retired after 40 years with Lockheed.
After he retired, he bought an Airstream trailer and joined the California Central Coast Airstream Club and enjoyed many happy hours traveling with family and friends. He was also a member of the Elks Lodge #1538
He was captain of the BBQ, grilling for family and friends every chance he got. His dilemma was always whether to smoke the tri-tip or bbq it?
He enjoyed photography and always carried a camera with him where ever he went.
He used his engineering skills to build unique furniture from cardboard. He was a master builder of scenery for his wife’s elementary school productions.
He was a very kind and gentle person. He will be greatly missed.
Erlend is survived by his wife, Ruth, of 66 years, his three daughters Linda (Bill) Frost of San Luis Obispo, Patricia Stampher of Santa Maria, Cheryl (Steve) Foster of Orcutt, his grandchildren Lauren Frost, Stephanie, David and Elizabeth Stampher, Douglas and Jamie Foster. He is also survived by his 4 legged fur-son, Toby.
Erlend was preceded in death by his parents, and his brother, Robin, of Turlock.
Graveside services are planned for Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the Santa Maria Cemetery with a reception to follow at the Radisson Hotel, 3455 Skyway Drive.
In lieu of flowers you may make a donation to the Wilshire Hospice
277 South Street, Suite R
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

To the family of Erlend Coffin:

My dad, Ellis C Brown, passed the end of January 2017, and I was saddened to hear of Erlend's passing. Erlend was one of the sweetest people I had ever met and certainly one of the funniest. Erlend and Ellis were best friends for many decades and I am glad Mutt and Jeff are back together again sharing jokes.

Our sincerest condolences from our family to your family.



I did not have the opportunity to get to know Erlend well but I did have the pleasure to work with Ruth for several years at Blochman School.  When our border collie has puppies - Ruth decided they needed a dog.  Erlend was so ealsy going that he agreed.  I extend my thoughts & prayers to the family at this time.

Ruth, Cheryl, Steve, Jamie & Douglas, I'm so sorry to hear of Erlend's passing. Please accept our sincere condolences from our family to yours.

Thank you Didi. We all greatly appreciate it. 

Some 40+ years ago, a remarkably gentle, highly gifted man, who worked nearby at Lockheed, began to whistle while he worked. It was the most amazing whistling of a  musical masterpiece - it took my breath away. It was Erl.