Coffey celebrates 100th birthday

Dave Coffey, seated, is joined by, from left, daughters Beth, Rosemary and Sally, and son John, at his 100th birthday party on May 10. - Kirk Boxleitner
Dave Coffey, seated, is joined by, from left, daughters Beth, Rosemary and Sally, and son John, at his 100th birthday party on May 10.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — Dave Coffey was born in Seattle on May 9, 1914, and he’s remained a Washington state resident all his life.

On Saturday, May 10, Coffey and his family celebrated his 100th birthday, with Dave’s son, John, helping him recall his many achievements since he moved to Marysville in the late 1940s.

“Back in World War II, he fixed airplane radios in Spokane,” John Coffey said of his father. “So when we moved to the Sunnyside area in the late ‘40s, dad worked as a radio operator of the Civil Aeronautics Administration, right on the top of Fire Trail Road. He’s always loved radio.”

By the 1950s, Dave had embraced television as the next big thing in electronic communication and opened his own TV shop at the intersection of Fourth Street and Beach Avenue.

“He jumped right into TV with both feet,” John said. “The shop was called Dave’s TV, and it was in the garage of the house we lived in. At one point, he put up every TV antenna in the Marysville and Arlington area. He owned the whole market, and I worked with him, selling and fixing TVs.”

The early 1960s saw Dave sell his TV business to his partner, and for the next decade he sold everything from cars to real estate, before he got the itch to return to selling and repairing television sets. He initially opened Quil Ceda TV in the north end of Marysville, since his partner still had the rights to the “Dave’s TV name,” before he opened “Dave Coffey TV” at the south end of town.

Before Dave retired at 62, he served stints on the local Chamber of Commerce and the Marysville School District, from the late ‘50s through the early ‘60s, signing the diplomas for the Class of 1960.

“After he retired, he loved to fly,” John said. “He owned several boats over the years, but flying airplanes was his most favorite thing.”

Dave also cultivated a love of catching fish and crabs, and while he spent at least as much time driving for fun as he did flying, John noted that all his round trips stayed within a 50-mile radius of his home.

“He kept driving until he was ninety-five years old,” John said. “He liked to go to Burlington for the shopping.”

Dave Coffey was joined at his birthday party not only by his son, but also his three daughters — Beth, Rosemary and Sally — and more grandkids and great-grandkids than even his family can keep track of.

“He has at least one great-great-grandchild now, with another on the way,” John said.

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