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Authors and Status

S.R. No. 231, as introduced: 85th Legislative Session (2007-2008) Posted on May 17, 2008.

1.1A senate resolution
1.2honoring the memory of reporter Jack Coffman.
1.3WHEREAS, those individuals who work tirelessly in pursuit of the news perform an
1.4important service deserving of special legislative recognition; and
1.5WHEREAS, Jack Coffman was born in Nashville, Tennessee, raised in St. Louis, and
1.6graduated from Washington University in St. Louis; and
1.7WHEREAS, Jack worked at newspapers in Kansas and Iowa before arriving at the
1.8Minneapolis Tribune in the 1970s and specializing in politics and public policy; and
1.9WHEREAS, Jack moved to the St. Paul Pioneer Press in 1984 and produced a
1.10groundbreaking series in 1992 on campaign contributions that led to important changes in ethics
1.11rules; and
1.12WHEREAS, after leaving the Pioneer Press in 1998, Jack worked for the Goff & Howard
1.13public affairs firm and expressed his love of photography by coauthoring "The Depopulation of
1.14the Northern Great Plains" with former Des Moines Register reporter George Anthan, which had
1.15text and pictures showing how small towns of Middle America were vanishing; and
1.16WHEREAS, Jack was a consummate professional, a voracious reader devoted to his work
1.17while writing stories with a passion for the public interest, but in a fair and balanced way; and
1.18WHEREAS, Jack also was known for having a sunny personality and a wonderful smile,
1.19who had the gift of taking his work seriously without seeming to; and
2.1WHEREAS, Jack was a natural teacher and a great mentor to younger reporters, and gave
2.2literate, impromptu tours of the Capitol building that were later videotaped for the Pioneer
2.3Press Web site; and
2.4WHEREAS, most importantly, Jack was a dedicated family man who married fellow
2.5reporter Melinda Voss in 1994 and had a daughter, Jackie Kaelin; two sons, Tom and Steve; two
2.6stepsons, Andrew and Zac Voss; and six grandchildren; and
2.7WHEREAS, Jack died while working at his St. Paul photography studio on Monday, May
2.812, 2008, at the age of 71, and a memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 17, 2008,
2.9at the Visitor Center at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul; NOW, THEREFORE,
2.10BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the State of Minnesota that it honors the memory of
2.11reporter Jack Coffman and extends condolences to his family.
2.12BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of the Senate is directed to prepare an
2.13enrolled copy of this resolution, to be authenticated by his signature and that of the Chair of the
2.14Senate Rules and Administration Committee, and transmit it to the family of Jack Coffman.