David Richard Coahran of Pullman died peacefully on Saturday, June 24th at his son’s home in Moscow. He was 84. He knew it was coming, and felt ready to go. He kept mobile and active right up to the last couple weeks.
He was born April 10, 1933 at Cincinnati, OH to Jesse Myers. and Mary Allen Dillon Coahran. He grew up and attended school in Smethport, PA and obtained his BA degree from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana in 1954. He then attended the University of Pittsburgh where he received his PhD in Biophysics in 1960.
He accepted a position at Washington State University in the then Agricultural Chemistry Department. During that time he taught himself electronics, developing the ability to repair and devise laboratory instruments. His career gradually shifted to instrumentation, and other WSU departments would sometimes request his services.
Upon “retirement” after 25 years David branched out into the design of digital computer peripherals. He started RDesign where he developed, manufactured and sold computerized systems for measuring the activity of yeast. The product is used in the food industry internationally. He sold the business in the late 1990’s.
He was an amateur radio operator, was active in the Palouse Folklore Society, and Habitat for Humanity as a member of their “Codger” Building Crew until very recently. He served for many years on the Whitman County Rural Fire District 12. He was interested in solar power, was active in the Boy Scouts in Pullman often doing projects at Camp Grizzly, and was a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). He led the family in building our own house, and taught the kids to fix their own vehicles and other machinery.
He and Margaret Matchett were married on August 5, 1956 in Richmond, Indiana and were later divorced. He is survived by his children, Timothy Coahran of Fairbanks, Alaska, Marge Coahran of Toronto, Ontario, Allen Coahran of Moscow, Idaho and William Coahran of Coram, Montana. He also leaves 6 grandchildren (Cera, Dean, Jesse, Jill, Jon, and Serena) and several great grandchildren. David is also survived by his partner Jimmi Mead, her daughter Cedra Eichenauer, and her granddaughter Rowan, all of British Columbia.
The family suggests memorials be made to Habitat for Humanity, 304 North Main St., Moscow, ID 83843, or to North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, c/o Jonathan Brown, Treasurer, 838 Hiawatha Place S, Seattle, WA 98114
A memorial service is being planned for fall and will be announced later.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Short’s Funeral Chapel, Moscow, and online condolences may be sent to www.shortsfuneralchapel.net.