July 19, 2010

Robin Leslie Coffee (1953-2010) of the Cherokee Nation

 I am attempting to reconstruct a family history for Robin using information from his obituary as well as information found on Find-A-Grave and other Cherokee websites.  This is what I have found thus far:

Eli Tadpole, who fought for the Union side as a Captain in the 2nd Regiment, Indian Home Guards, Kansas Infantry, died in service in 1863.  Eli left a widow Waddle Pann and a minor daughter, Jencie Tadpole.*  Jencie apparently married a Coffee and George was born on July 10, 1884 in Mayes Co., OK.

George Coffee married Lucy Watkins, both of the Cherokee Nation.  Their son Eli was born Aug. 25, 1921 and died Aug. 26, 2001.  He was a Navy veteran of WW2 and was buried at the Fort Gibson National Cemetery in Muskogee Co., OK.

Eli married Elizabeth Johnson, a daughter of Harpley Johnson of the Creek Nation and Amy Johnson of the Yankton Sioux Nation.  Robin was their son.  Their other children identified in the obituary, are Leonard, Jim, David, Steven, Linda and Deena.

To complete the genealogy of Robin's Coffee ancestry I need to find which Coffee married Jencie Tadpole. 

From the Tahlequah Daily Press, June 24, 2010

Robin Leslie Coffee
TAHLEQUAH — Robin L. Coffee, of Tahlequah, was born Monday, Oct. 5, 1953 in Lawrence, Kan. to Eli and Elizabeth Johnson Coffee and went to be with his Lord and savior Tuesday, June 22, 2010, in Tahlequah, at the age of 56 years, 8 months and 17 days.

Robin was a published author and was the owner of Whitebird Publishing Company. Robin attended Sequoyah High School and graduated from NSU with a degree in physiology. Robin worked at Talking Leaves Job Corps and Hasting Behavioral Health Clinic. He enjoyed spending time with his family, fishing, playing cards, going to church at Steely Springs General Baptist Church in Tahlequah, going to football and basketball games at Sequoyah High School and writing poetry. He was currently working on another book. Robin received the Cherokee Medal of Honor in 2000.

Preceding him in death is his mother and father; grandfather, Harpley Johnson, a Creek Indian from Okmulgee; grandmother, Amy Johnson, a Yankton Sioux Indian from Wagoner, S.D.; grandparents, George and Lucy Hawkins Coffee, Cherokee Indians of Tahlequah; niece, Leigh Michelle Solomon and her infant daughter Darlene of Bellingham, Wa.; nephew, Sean Ray Sarren and brother-in-law, Vincent Edward Sarren of Tahlequah.

Robin is survived by his daughter, Crystal Amy Dawn Drywater and her husband Matt and their daughter, Nadia; four brothers and two sisters, Leonard Coffee and his wife Roberta of Vacaville, Calif., Jim Coffee and his wife Mary of Columbus, Kan., David Coffee and his wife Nora of Tahlequah, Steven Coffee and his wife Janelle of West Siloam Springs, Linda Sarren of Tahlequah, Deena Johnson and her husband Sam of Tahlequah; six nephews, Eric Vann and girlfriend Shelby Blossom of Tahlequah, Christopher Coffee and his wife Amy of Lenexa, Kan., Vincent Sarren of Tahlequah, Mike Weaver of Tahlequah, Jamie Settlemyre of West Siloam Springs, Donald Aaron Settlemyre of West Siloam Springs; seven nieces, Kelly Vann of Tahlequah, Lindsey Coffee of Santa Clara, Calif., Elizabeth Houser and her husband Stephen of Joplin, Mo., Jody Sarren of Miami, Elaine Veales and her husband Robert of Tahlequah, Amy Romo and her husband Keegan of Tahlequah, Amber Settlemyre of West Siloam Springs, and Nova Birdtail of Tahlequah. He is also survived by several great nephews and nieces; two aunts, Ginger Gaither and Deloris Crawford of Fort Worth, Texas.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, June 25, 2010, at the Reed-Culver Funeral Home Chapel, with Rev. Bill Drywater and Rev. Aaron Robinson officiating. Burial will follow in the Green Leaf Cemetery with Eric Vann, Christopher Coffee, Jamie Settlemyre, Donald Aaron Settlemyre, Matt Drywater and Robert Veales serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be Leonard Coffee, Jim Coffee, David Coffee and Steve Coffee.

Online condolences may be left at www.reedculver.com.

Reed-Culver Funeral Home, 117 W. Delaware, 456-2551.

*National Archives and Records Administration. Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.  The index names Rachel Tadpole as his wife. 
Robin's photo courtesy of "Mary" at Find-A-Grave, member no. 47025884

A short time ago - probably about the time I pressed the "Publish" button for this blog - someone contacted me via e-mail to say that Jencie's husband was also a "full blood" and his name was "Ga? li ska wee Coffee."  I'm presuming that the "?" means that they are unsure exactly how that name was spelled.  The e-mail went on to explain that the Coffee surname probably came from the way his name was "interpreted" by an English speaking person.  Another source wrote George Coffee claimed "on his Eastern application that his father was name[d] Gar-le-ske Kaw-whe."

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