Roy, born June 30,
1907, was the son of the lat Harvey L. and Nannie Knapp Coffman and the
great, great grandson of Isaac, the first Coffman to settle in the
Roy graduated from Greenbrier High School, Marshall College, and W, Va.
University. He worked for 43 years as a teacher, coach, and principal.
He served on the W VA Secondary School Activities Commission for 8 years
as a member and president. He was a charter member of the Greenbrier
Valley Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, a 60 plus year
member of the Lewisburg United Methodist Church, 50 plus year member of
the Greenbrier County Farm Bureau, and was W Va Conservation Farmer of the
Year in 1975 and the 4th generation farmer of the family farm in
H was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite Bodies, Shriner and
also the Lion Club for over 50 years. Served as District Governor in Lions
International in 1976-74. He has served as a Trustee of the Greenbrier
County Youth Camp for many years and was named to the Greenbrier County
Youth Camp Roll of Honor.
He was President of the Spartan Boosters and was instrumental in the
construction of Spartan Stadium.
Roy spent the first 13 years of teaching in Raleigh County as a teacher,
coach and principal. The remainder of his 43 years in education were in
Greenbrier County serving as a principal of the Rainelle, Lewisburg, and
Alderson High Schools.
Roy's Experiences and
When I started
teaching, teachers were led to believe it was their responsibility and
duty to try to instill moral, ethical and virtuous principles of conduct
in the students under their supervision. This could be best done by
example by those in authority.
We would also begin the day with a short devotion. We would learn Bible
verses, The Lord’s Prayer, 23rd Psalm, Pledge to the Flag, and many, many
more worthwhile selections.
During my first years of teaching, many parents would tell me “if Johnny
or Susie needs a “thrashing”, give it to him and let me know and I will
give him “another one” when he gets home.
I am afraid as parents and teachers, we are not living up to our moral and
ethical obligation to the young people under our supervision. I believe
“our United States of America” will continue to have grave difficulty
until we return to a sound philosophy of conduct and manners for parents,
teachers, and students.
The school and community in which I started my teaching career was without
electricity and bathrooms. The school used an old car engine to run a
generator to provide lights, heat and water. As you can imagine, a number
of students came to school “very much in need” of a good bath. On
occasion, we would arrange to provide the bath in the school shower room.
On one such occasion, a small boy was taken to the shower room for the
bath. When instructed to “take his clothes off’ he burst into big tears
saying “teacher, I can’t swim”. You can rest assured that phrase was the
talk of the teachers for a number of years.