Birder ‘Bird’ Coffey: May 18, 1936 – March 3, 2020

Birder (Bird) Coffey, a passionate golfer, family man, tomato grower and active community member, passed away at 83 years old, peacefully and surrounded by his family at home in Oak Harbor, Wash. on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, after losing a hard fought battle with an aggressive cancer.

Bird is survived by his wife, MaryAnne, and three children, Selena, Craig and Brian.

Bird was born in Brasstown, N.C., on May 18, 1936 to Hamilton (Ham) and Molly Coffey née Hyatt. He has a surviving sister, Maryjane, and two surviving brothers, June Lee and Fred. He was preceded in death by siblings Zebadiah, James, Dexter, Austin and twins who died at birth.

After high school, Bird enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, with a career serving 22 years. While stationed at Travis AFB, he met his wife and love of his life, Airman 2nd MaryAnne Coffey. They were married March 4, 1961 and made the world their home as they followed Bird’s career and built their family. Their 59th anniversary was on March 4, 2020, one day after his passing.

After retiring from the military in 1977, the family moved to MaryAnne’s hometown of Missoula, Mont. His second career of 13 years was spent working for two car dealerships, Flannigan’s and the Ford dealership, and over a span of 20 years in Montana, he was also a rancher.

In 1999, they moved to his current home in Oak Harbor, Wash., near Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Over the 20 years of living in this home, Bird planted many varieties of trees on their property, providing a beautiful environment for birds (and humans) to thrive.

If you have an eagle siting or encounter over the next few weeks that gives you a calm and peaceful feeling, you may have had a visit from the Bird man.

Bird’s family and friends will miss him terribly.

In keeping with Bird’s wishes, we will not be holding funeral services. Instead of sending flowers, donations may be made to Whidbey Animals Improvement Foundation at

If you would like to visit and add to our online Book of Memories for his family and community to enjoy and reminisce – you can visit

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