From the Boston Globe
Vt. Democratic activist Vi Coffin diesI had the good fortune to know Vi. We will all miss her. The article didn't mention it, but she was also the sister-in-law of William Sloane Coffin.
March 31, 2008
Violet Coffin, a longtime Democratic activist and advocate for the arts, has died. She was 87.
Coffin died at home Monday of congestive heart failure, according to her husband, Edmund.
She became state Democratic chairwoman in 1985 after serving as chairwoman of the Strafford and Orange County party committees and as an activist in campaigns in Ohio and New York.
"Vi was a loyal Vermonter who single-handedly kept the state Democratic Party together during her tenure as chairwoman, and whose work touched the lives of countless others," said Howard Dean, the national Democratic chairman and a former Vermont governor.
Coffin led delegations to the party's national 1988 convention in Atlanta for Michael Dukakis and its 1992 convention in New York City for Bill Clinton. She was supporting Barack Obama this time.
"I think he's a real breath of fresh air in the way he speaks and his ability to stir up an audience and to go beyond the usual bash-Bush type of dialogue," she told Vermont Public Radio last fall.
In 2005, she received the David W. Curtis Leadership Award for dedication to the party's values.
She supported the arts as director of Vermont Artisans in 1980, president of the Vermont Council on the Arts in 1981 and member of the Vermont Council on the Humanities in 1995.
Coffin graduated summa cum laude from Smith College in 1942. She served with the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency, in Washington and London and became a foreign correspondent for Time in Cairo and a journalist with Fortune and the Toledo Blade.