Longtime pediatrician Wendell Coffelt will be remembered at a public
memorial reception at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center for his
medical contributions and patriotic efforts. Coffelt, 92, died in his
sleep July 30.
Coffelt was a chief of staff at Providence, an advocate for the
center’s emergency center for infants and children and a World War II
To his daughter Wendy, who is named after him, losing her father
also meant losing a friend.
“I just feel so sad about him when I think about him because I do
miss him,” she said. “We spent a lot of time together.”
Coffelt served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps as chief of medical
services of all U.S. forces in China, Burma and India during World
War II. While he was there, Coffelt was instrumental in controlling
epidemics throughout China with an immunization program. He received
the Chinese Grand Star of Honor for his service.
Coffelt, a longtime Glendale resident, was also presented with
several medals -- including the Bronze Star, the Asiatic- Pacific
Campaign Medal with one Bronze Star and the World War II Victory
Medal -- by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Glendale) during last year’s Veterans
Day celebration in Burbank.
After the war, Coffelt opened a pediatric practice in Burbank and
joined the staff at Providence St. Joseph in 1946. Coffelt
established programs like newborn genetic screening, a countywide
car-seat program called “First Ride-Safe Ride” and Pediatric After
Hours Care at the hospital.
Coffelt is survived by his wife, Dolores, and his five children,
Wendy, Phillip, Lisa, Brian and Christina, 14 grandchildren and one
great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his daughter Kimberly,
who was the mother of four of Coffelt’s grandchildren.
Plans for the public memorial reception at Providence St. Joseph
are pending, and in lieu of flowers, the family has asked that
donations be made to Providence St. Joseph Medical Center’s Pediatric
After Hours Care, 501 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91505.