Joan Coffey Weisskopf

Posted On January 21st, 2018 -

Joan Coffey WeisskopfJoan Coffey Weisskopf, 85, of Kapolei, passed away after a brief illness on January 11, 2018 at the Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center. Born Joan Anne Coffey on February 16, 1932, in New Haven, Connecticut, she was the daughter of John and Mary Granfield Coffey. She is preceded in death by her three siblings, Edmond, John, and Kathleen. She was born into a poor Irish Catholic home located in the projects of New Haven. There is no doubt that her upbringing in New Haven shaped the person she became and was through her last day with us; Joan carried herself with determination, grit, and compassion for people of all walks of life. In 1953, she graduated from the New Haven State Teachers College with a Bachelor’s degree in Education. Shortly thereafter she commissioned as an officer in the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES), in the United States Naval Reserve. During this time, she met William Malvin Weisskopf, and they married in 1954. Her military service ended with first pregnancy. She and William raised two sons, Michael and William. Joan found her calling in teaching English and obtained her Master’s in Education and English from George Washington University. During her 30-year career as an educator, Joan taught all over the world, from South Carolina to the Philippines and finally here on Oahu, where she taught at Leilehua High School for 19 years and ‘Iolani for six years. She was known as a tough, but fair teacher, who imparted her passion for literature, poetry, and writing upon her students; she was the type of teacher who was initially feared by students, but ultimately respected and remembered well beyond their time in her classroom. After her retirement from ‘Iolani in 1994, Joan filled her time with volunteer endeavors, including delivering meals to her clients for Meals on Wheels and tutoring various students, predominantly through Hawaii Literacy. Until shortly before her death, Joan was healthy, active, and enjoying life at home in Ko’Olina, always with a book in hand being the bibliophile she was. Joan is preceded in death by her husband and survived by her two children – Michael Weisskopf and his wife, Lynne, of Charleston, South Carolina, and William Weisskopf and his wife, Myra, of Mililani; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren (with two on the way!). Joan’s life was one that was well-lived, filled with family, friends, travel, music, literature, poetry, and entertaining. Her departure leaves a void in all who knew her; we are grateful for the time we shared and are better people for having known her. We will continue to remember her by our many memories, as well as the letters, short poems, and other writing treasures she left us over the years. Cheers Joan, always and forever, you will be missed, but never forgotten. Services will take place at Punchbowl in March, with details to follow from the family. The family requests that friends who wish to honor Joan do so by making donations to Lanakila Meals on Wheels or Hawaii Literacy. Arrangements Provided By: Ballard Family Moanalua Mortuary

Posted in Death Notices

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran