Bert Coffman began his music career in High School Beginning Instrument Class in the West
Los Angeles area. He studied the Alto Saxophone and soon decided he would like the life of a
High School Music teacher. Following High School graduation, Mr. Coffman attended Los
Angeles City College and majored in music. The two year course of study resulted in an
Associate of Arts Degree and led the way for a transfer to the University of California at Los
Angeles. At UCLA Mr. Coffman majored in Music Education with a Minor in Social Science.
He received his Bachelor of Arts and began the search for employment. The first opportunity
was at the South Shore in Lake Tahoe, California side. One year was spent at Lake Tahoe with a
return to Los Angeles for employment with the Los Angeles City Schools. The first 23 years
were spent teaching Instrumental Music, Music Theory, Music Appreciation and a few Choir
Classes. The following year was spent as a Counselor and the remaining six years were involved
with the Math Department. He also received a Master Degree from Cal Lutheran University in
Music Education. In July of 1993, retirement arrived and later that year the Coffman family
moved to Vancouver, WA. It was time to revive music and he soon found a place with the
Westwind Community Band. A few years later he became a member of the Vancouver Pops
Orchestra. Soon after his membership with the Pops Orchestra, the opportunity for a new
director channeled his energies to accepting this responsibility. He has been the conductor for 4
years. During Bert’s time as director of the Vancouver Pops Orchestra, he poured his heart out
to insuring that all members of the group received mentorship from him. He managed and
developed the group professionally and every year, the orchestra blessed almost every
elementary school in the Vancouver, WA area with an amazing assembly promoting musical
opportunities for the students. Student participation was major in Bert’s teaching. He always
involved the students in hands-on learning during these assemblies at the public schools.
Bert married in 1975 and had two beautiful children, Noah and Jade. He was a disciplinary but
yet he had the hearts of his children always in mind when making future decisions. He
provided a very safe and secure environment for his family. That was his priority. He was
intentionally involved with their lives whether it was education, extra curricular activities to
social activities. He stayed connected with his children because of his love for them.
Bert was raised in the Jewish faith. He had his Bar Mitzvah and followed all the Jewish
traditions and customs. Even as a young person, Bert was an entrepreneur. He formed his
own quartet and played at Jewish weddings. Time passed and God touched his heart and in
March 1980, Bert converted to Christianity and became a “born again believer” of Jesus Christ.
Bert was an elder in the church. Later in1993, he attended First Church of God, now known as
Vancouver Church. His involvement enhanced his growth with God through bible classes,
weekly bible studies, volunteering and serving.
During the later years of Bert’s life, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Bert was on this
journey for the past 8 years, but God made sure he was covered with support and love in every
way possible. His family took care of Bert all the time to insure he had the best care. Bert was
truly loved from the beginning and all the way to the end of his time on this earth. Today and
forever, Bert is completely healed and he is doing what he does best in heaven ……teaching,
music, conducting, bible study, and fellowship with everyone, telling his corny jokes, and
entertaining all the children.
Bert is loved and respected by so many people and his students where he taught high school, his
church members, Vancouver Pops members and family and friends.