Our hearts go out to Laurie Crittendon Nikituk of Red Horse Real Estate on the recent passing of her sister, Marlyn Coffey. Marlyn was a Berkshire REALTOR for 12 or so years and Laurie’s partner in real estate at that time. A celebration of Marlyn’s life will be held on Sat., Aug. 24, at 11 a.m. at Otis Congregational Church, 46 N. Main Rd. Cards and donations can be mailed to: PO Box 181, Otis, MA 01253-0181. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the “Meg Cade Memorial Scholarship Fund” for Lee High School Seniors, “Otis Historical Commission,” “Otis Fire Department,” or “Otis Rescue Squad” mailed in care of Marlyn Coffey Memorial Donations, to the above address.
The following is her obituary forwarded to us: Marlyn Crittendon Coffey, 1940–2019, Otis, MA:
Daughter, Sister, Friend, Cousin, Mother, Aunt, Granny, Auntie Granny M, Great Granny, Neighbor — Marlyn received eternal peace on July 17, 2019. She was born on October 10, 1940, in New London, CT, to William Sumner and Beatrice Wescott Crittendon. After World War II, her family lived in Feeding Hills and then West Springfield, MA, where she graduated from high school in 1958. Attending Colby College for two years, Marlyn married Michael Dean Coffey in 1960. Her lifelong love of ice cream can be directly tied to meeting the father of her three daughters while working at Friendly’s in West Springfield. Following a divorce in 1976, she was the sole proprietor of the Wallflower, a painting and wallpapering business based in Otis. From 1986 to 1998, she was a realtor and co-owner of Pond Pasture Real Estate. In May 1998, she started the Greenwoods Gazette, which later became the Otis Gazette. For many years, Marlyn was a deaconess at Otis Congregational Church and a congregant of Lee Congregational Church.
Before Alzheimer’s robbed her of her memory and self-confidence, she was an excellent cook, baker (renowned for her apple pies), photographer, woodworker, knitter, crocheter, fundraiser, writer, genealogist and historian. Her favorite activities were spending time with her family and friends, swimming at the Benton Pond cottage, mowing her lawn, and weeding her flower gardens. Her love of nature was boundless. Every side road that she ever passed was one she wanted to drive down.
Marlyn was predeceased by her parents, her daughter Karen Coffey, and her niece Meg Cade. She is survived by her daughters Kimberley Tonlino (John) and Kristin Coffey (Bill Rust); brother Bill Crittendon (Sheri); sisters Debby Dutton (Ted) and Laurie Nikituk (Michael); grandchildren Jake Tonlino (great grandchildren Brooke and Tyler) and Luke and Whitney Tonlino (great granddaughters Carson and Colbie); and numerous nieces and nephews from the Crittendon and Coffey families.