Robert W. Coggins Was Veteran of World War II
Robert Winthrop Coggins, former Martha's Vineyard resident and director of the appraisal department of the General Services Administration (GSA), died on Monday, May 19, from heart failure. He was 82.
Mr. Coggins was born on Oct. 9, 1920 in Attleboro to Alice Chandler and Benjamin Wallace Coggins. He grew up primarily in Pittsfield. After his graduation from Lenox Prep School, his family moved to Martha's Vineyard in 1939 to open the Ben Franklin Store on Main street in Vineyard Haven. He was graduated from Yale University in 1943 (class of '44) and received his diploma aboard ship as he served in the Navy on the USS Omaha and Huntington during World War II. He was a gunnery officer, attaining the rank of lieutenant.
After being separated from the Navy in July 1946, Mr. Coggins returned to Martha's Vineyard and worked in the family's business. In April of 1950, he married Dorothy Rabbitt. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Hingham, where Dunn and Bradstreet employed him in Boston. In 1960, Mr. Coggins started a new career with GSA as a real estate appraiser, which eventually led to his moving to the Washington, D.C., suburb in 1967. He retired from GSA in 1981.
Mr. Coggins and his wife, Dorothy Rabbitt Coggins, formerly of Tisbury, maintained a summer residence in Newcastle, Me., and would visit the Vineyard often. He enjoyed history, politics, the Washington Redskins and baseball at all levels, but most of all he enjoyed his family.
In addition to his wife, with whom he shared 53 years of marriage, Mr. Coggins is survived by their four children and their spouses: Elaine and Gary Gramp of Lorton, Va., Susan and Robert Coggins Jr. of Centreville, Va., Nancy and James Coggins of Jacksonville, Fla., and Rebecca and Eric Propst of Avondale, Pa., and their 10 grandchildren, Allison, Lauren, Chandler, Donald, Katie, Sarah, Kevin, Megan, Melissa and Erika. A brother, David Coggins of Wells, M., and two sisters Barbara Starratt and Beverly Coggins of Wauchula and Miami, Fla., also survive Mr. Coggins. He was predeceased by two brothers, Benjamin Coggins of Tisbury and Dana Coggins of Mattapoisett.
A viewing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 30, at the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Oak Bluffs. Interment will be on May 31, with a graveside service at 11 a.m. in the Oak Grove Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society.