Celebrating the life of Phyllis Jeannette Coffman
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Phyllis Jeannette Sandlin Coffman, 82, of Hot Springs, Arkansas, went to be with the Lord surrounded by family on March 7, 2017. She was born on December 8, 1934, to Fletcher and Mary Knight Sandlin of Hackett, Arkansas, in the Bethel Community just west of Hackett.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Bobby Coffman, her parents, and her two older sisters, Ernestine Sandlin Battle and Bernice “Top” Sandlin.
She is survived by her daughter, Caroline Miller (Alan) and family of Hot Springs; daughter, Holly Hale (Steve) of Dallas, Texas; granddaughters, Devorah Jeannette Hale of Auburn, Alabama, and Lilly Ziporah Hale of San Marcos, Texas; step-granddaughters, Hayley Pugh (Drew) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Rebekah Ball (Nathan) of Conway, and Missy Miller of Hot Springs; niece, Barbara Larkin (Jim) and family; niece, Bernice Lowrey (Mike) and family; first cousin, Joann Rathbun (David) and family of Hackett, Arkansas.
Phyllis was a dedicated Christian and never forgot her years of growing up in the Bethel Methodist Church. She was the only child in the small church, but she listened and learned. Phyllis first felt the call to become a child of God at age 10 during a revival service at the First Methodist Church in Hackett, Arkansas. She lived with her parents in the Bethel Community about 3 miles west of Hackett and was a member of Bethel Methodist Church. As a child, she rode her bicycle to Sunday school and church at the local Bethel Church. Her parents never owned a car, but she rode the school bus that stopped right in front of her house. She excelled in school, graduating as valedictorian of Hackett High School in 1952. Phyllis had an exceptional gift of music that was fostered in piano lessons as a child. She played piano for all of her high school musicals and each week at Sunday school for many years. She even copyrighted two original songs in the 1950s. In 1953, she became a member of First Baptist Church of Hot Springs where she was a member for 64 years. There she was a Sunday school teacher and a children’s choir director.
On July 31, 1953 she married Bobby Joe Coffman. In September 1953 they both became freshman students at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She graduated in 1957 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. After they both graduated, they moved back to Hot Springs, Arkansas. She was immediately hired to teach at Ramble Elementary and then taught 5th grade at Oaklawn Elementary School. She retired from teaching with 30 years of service. Her former students visited her for many years much to her joy. For many years, she was a member of the Arkansas Retired Teachers Association and a lifetime member of Alpha Delta Kappa.
After her husband Bob’s passing in 2015 she continued living in Hot Springs at home and at Hearts and Homes Assisted Living. A special thanks to the following caregivers: Kathy Norton, Mike, Bernice, and Kara Lowrey, Melanie Cross, Dennis Phillips, Nellie Perry, and the staff of Arkansas Hospice.
Visitation will be 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, March 9, 2017 at Caruth-Hale Funeral Home.
A celebration of Phyllis’ life will be 2:00 p.m. Friday, March 10, 2017 at First Baptist Church on Central Avenue with Pastor John McCallum officiating. Her family hopes to say hello and thank you for remembering their beloved mother and grandmother.
Memorial may be dedicated to Paralyzed Veterans of America or the First Baptist Church Women’s Ministry.
Pallbearers are Steve Hale, Alan Miller, Fletcher Larkin, Mike Rathbun, Pat Parker and Mike Lowrey.
Honorary pallbearers are David Rathbun, Jim Larkin, Adam Lowrey, Des Aginnie, Gary Wait, John Rathbun Dr. Timothy English, Gary Meredith, and the staff of Arkansas Hospice.
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155 Section Line Road
Hot Springs, AR 71913
2350 Central Avenue
Hot Springs, AR 71913