Memorial service for Frank Coffin '40 rescheduled to May 8

Update: A memorial service planned for Frank Coffin ’40 earlier this year was postponed due to a snow storm.  The service is now planned for 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 8 at the University of Southern Maine in Portland.  It will be held in the Abromson Community Center, Hannaford Hall, 88 Bedford St.

Bates College Trustee Emeritus Frank M. Coffin ’40, LL.D ’58, a widely admired judge on the 1st Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for four decades and one of few individuals ever to serve in all three branches of the federal government, died Dec. 7 at age 90.

In a Dec. 9 story in the Portland Press Herald, Judge Kermit Lipez of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals described Coffin as  a “national treasure. In his combination of great talents, accomplishments, humanity and decency, and in the respect and love he inspired in so many people, he was unique.”

The New York Times praised Coffin for his “writings on the techniques and obligations of a federal appeals court judge” that have guided judges everything from judicial decision making to interactions with colleagues. In her Dec. 31 blog entry for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse describes Coffin as a judge who believed “that federal judges, while independent, would also be accountable to the public and constantly obliged to demonstrate the legitimacy of the judicial enterprise.”

During his lifetime, Coffin conducted three interviews for the Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection at Bates. Transcripts are available here.

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