Referee Died Suddenly While Officiating Wednesday
Posted By: admin
Friday, April 4, 2014

Courtesy of The Guardian
 
Aaron Coffin embraced hockey.  

For many years, he played the sport, capturing several championship titles, including, 92-93 EKHL with the  Souris Blackpond Sharks, 93-94 and 94-95 Junior B with the Montague Sharks.  Also, along the way, he helped nab the Island Senior Hockey championship with his Morell squad in 1997.

Coffin also spent time behind the bench as a coach winning an Island championship in the senior league in 2011 with the Souris Icemen.

He went on to officiate numerous hockey games in recent years.

"Hockey was a major passion for all of Aaron's life,'' says Donna MacLean, who is grieving the sudden loss of her son.

Coffin died Wednesday, shortly after skating off the ice, complaining of trouble breathing and chest pains, while working as a linesman during an Island Junior Hockey League playoff game in Montague.

He was only one year old when his father, Brenton Coffin, died of a heart attack while playing in a hockey game with the Mount Stewart Seagulls.

Aaron's death is also believed to be heart related.

"Both Brent and Aaron were doing what they loved when they passed away,'' says MacLean.

Still, family and friends are in shock. Coffin was only 39 and, as his mother points out, the man had a great deal to live for.

"He just loved life,'' she says.  He had so many plans. It is heartbreaking.''

Coffin taught school for several years, and with a career change, had worked with the Vestas Wind Turbines in Elmira for the past six years.

He couldn't wait to get on the ice, though.

Troy Howatt, referee-in-chief of Hockey P.E.I., says Coffin was a newly minted, level 4 official with an extreme passion for the game.

"It was something he thoroughly enjoyed,'' says Howatt.

He says fellow officials were shocked and saddened by Coffin's sudden death.  "Really unsettling for the other officials who were working the game,'' he says.  "We're a small group.''

While Coffin loved stepping onto the ice, he put his heart and soul into being a caring father and loving, devoted husband, notes MacLean.

"He was totally a hands on father - loved all of his three kids immensely,'' she says.  "He embraced life and was full of enthusiasm with anything he did.''  Coffin leaves behind his wife Angela Coffin, three children, Alicia Bruce, Brent and Theo Coffin.  

Clifford Affleck describes his late nephew as a man who was a gentleman all the way and easy to get along with.

"He was a great fellow,'' says Affleck.  "He will be greatly missed by his family."

Visiting hours are Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.at Ferguson Logan Montague Funeral Home.
 
A celebration of Aaron's life will be held in the Funeral Home Chapel on Monday at 3 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Brent and Theo's education fund (at CIBC or the funeral home) would be greatly appreciated by the family.
 
Donations can also be made during game two of the IJHL final, which was cancelled out of respect towards Coffin. The game will be played in Coffins memory Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Cavendish Farms Wellness Centre in Montague.

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