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Peter S. Coffrin

Peter Starbuck Coffrin, 73, passed away suddenly on Aug. 6, 2020. He was with his wife Sue Coffrin of 30 years.

Peter was born in Ithaca, New York, in 1947 and spent his life passing between New York, Vermont, and the greater world.

Peter had a tireless thirst for knowledge that he carried with him from his graduation from the Hinckley School, through a bachelor’s degree in international studies at the University of Vermont, as a foreign student of Doshisha University, in Kyoto, Japan; and finally culminated in a master’s degree in international economics from the University of Chicago. Peter continually kept abreast of news, world affairs and was an avid reader.

As a fluent Japanese speaker, Peter spent several years in Japan as both as a student and instructor. Peter brought his passion for Japanese language and culture back to the United States first in his studies at the University of Chicago, and then to Vermont as a founding member, in 1983, and first president of the Japan Society of Vermont.

Coupled with Peter’s thirst for knowledge was a passion for adventure and travel. Whether it was Coffrin family trips driving across the country as a boy, his time abroad stationed in Germany during his military service, his time living in Japan, his many vacations and business trips to Europe or in his later years his cross-country trips throughout the U.S. and Canada he was always on the go. A meticulous planner, his frequent cross-country road trips included detailed accounting of local history, culture, and local attractions; his itineraries were full of endless things to do and most notably he could tell you the best restaurant in any city in North America.

Peter was very proud of his family and enjoyed their happiness and success. They will miss him deeply. Peter leaves his son, Nikolas, his wife Catlin, and their children Emelia, and Dylan; as well as his sons Daniel, William, Alexander and stepson Tanner Howe. He also leaves his brother, Albert/Buddy, his wife Deb; his brother James, his wife Jill; his sister Nancy Furlong, her husband Michael; and cousins Katharine and Jonathan, his wife Tia. In addition, he leaves his mother in law Kathryn, brother in law, Steve Sloan and wife Julie.

In lieu of flowers, please feel free to donate to the Japan Society America.