Jack Coffman died at home in Ridgeland, Miss., on the afternoon of November 30, 2013 after a year long battle with cancer. He was a true warrior and the captain of our ship.

Jack began his life on March 14, 1954 in rural Arkansas where he grew up with his 13 siblings. Early on, he learned the lessons of working hard and holding true to your values. As a boy he trapped and fished to help support his family and for the love of being outdoors.

After graduating high school, he joined the army which brought him to Alaska. He fell in love with the grandeur of the state and the opportunities it held. He met his first wife and was blessed with his son Jonathon David.

Jack went to work for the Alaska railroad as a welder. He travelled all over the state repairing bridges and buildings. His work with the railroad brought him to Whittier, Alaska, where he met his wife Brenda of 34 years and had a son Calem Lewis and a daughter Tess Nicole.

After leaving Whittier he lived in Washington and Arizona before moving back to Valdez Alaska where he had a rewarding career of 20-plus years in the oil spill recovery and response field. In October 2012, Jack and Brenda once more packed their bags and relocated to the lower 48 to be closer to family.

Jack was a very special man who loved his family, riding his 4 wheeler along the banks of the Lowe River, and working in his wood shop perfecting his craft, He was a man who enjoyed his music and could easily identify the artist, where he was when he first heard a song and usually what kind of car he was driving when he heard it. On a typical evening you would find him in his recliner with a good book. He was the type of person people loved to be around. He had a quick wit and a big heart.

We will all miss his smile and humor but rejoice that the rough seas have passed and he is at peace.