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Remembering Diane Coffin

A fundraiser walk to remember a dear friend and colleague

Campus and Community

By Jackey Locke

On Sept. 29, engineering faculty and staff gathered with family and friends and former colleagues of Diane Coffin to walk in her memory and raise funds for her family.

Ms. Coffin was a well-respected and loved employee in the faculty, who passed away this past July. The day of the walk would have been her 40th birthday.

‘Very missed’

“Diane was a wonderful employee in the faculty,” said Dr. Greg Naterer, dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “We plan to continue this walk on her birthday each year as a way to keep her memory alive here in the faculty. She is very much missed by all of us.”

Ms. Coffin began her career with Memorial as a financial analyst in the Queen Elizabeth II Library in 2007. A year later she graduated from Memorial with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and started working in the engineering faculty as an administrative specialist II about a year after receiving her degree.

“Friends and colleagues wanted to acknowledge Diane’s life with a special event in her honour.” — Leanne Hayden

Ms. Coffin’s contributions to the faculty were not only evident in her outstanding work ethic and expertise, but in her positive attitude and cheerful personality. It wasn’t long after she arrived that people came to know her as sweet, thoughtful, funny and passionate. She was always helpful and kind in her approach to work and her presence brightened up the office.

An inspiration to all

Ms. Coffin was also a fighter. Despite life’s challenges, she always wore a huge smile and had a positive outlook. Her love for her husband, Dan, and her children, Claire and Benjamin, kept her spirits bright. Never one to wallow in self-pity, she faced every challenge head on and fought back — not only for herself but also for her family. For that, she is an inspiration to everyone at the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

The faculty’s social committee organized the walk in Ms. Coffin’s honour. More than 50 walkers gathered in the Engineering building’s main lobby before dividing into two groups to walk around Long Pond or inside through campus. All proceeds went to Ms. Coffin’s family. Leanne Hayden, a member of the social committee and close colleague and friend of Ms. Coffin, helped to organize the event.

“Friends and colleagues wanted to acknowledge Diane’s life with a special event in her honour,” said Ms. Hayden. “Participating in a walk seemed fitting to Diane’s personal interests, a way in which we could remember the special person she was, raise awareness and share our stories and memories.”

In addition to her family and friends, Ms. Coffin was also passionate about running and photography.

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