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 Robin Leslie Coffee

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Robin Leslie Coffee

  • Birth 5 Oct 1953 Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas, USA
  • Death 22 Jun 2010 Tahlequah, Cherokee County, Oklahoma, USA
  • Burial Tahlequah, Cherokee County, Oklahoma, USA
  • Memorial ID 53991818



Onto the dust

I formed it into words

Called it


Robin Coffee from 'The Lonely Gifted Traveler'

Robin was the son of Eli Coffee (Cherokee) and Elizabeth Naoma Johnson Coffee (Creek/Yankton Sioux), a brother to Leonard, Jim, Linda, David, Steven and Deena, a father to the joy of his life, Crystal Amy Dawn Coffee Drywater and her husband Matt, and a proud grandpa to Nadia.

He was loved, honored and respected by a large loving family and many friends.

Life was a struggle for Robin. He stated that he had lost his way in his teen years when he began to understand that the non-Indian ways in which he was educated and had grown to think of as his own, were at odds with the culture of his blood heritage.

He then began to mourn the absence of not knowing his native culture and language. He responded to this with feelings of anger and rebellion and turned away from the society of his upbringing. Without his Indian culture to turn to, he felt alone, distrustful and bitter with no path to follow.

Robin sought to bury his pain in strong drink and this beautiful person wandered about lost to himself and his family for years.

Robin eventually found his voice through art and poetry. His words are strong, gentle at times and often painful to read. He slowly emerged from his darkness into seeing his worth to those he could teach from his journey.

Robin relied on his faith in God which provided strength to face the assaults on his health caused by diabetes, renal disease and finally dialysis.

He found a way to laugh and encourage his sister Deena and niece Kelly who were there daily to help him with things that are needed at times like this. His thoughts were never far from his beloved daughter to whom he dedicated all of his writings. Their phone conversations were his delight.

He was a die hard fan of OU football and rarely missed a basketball or football game at Sequoyah high school. It's a good thing he was a good sport for he was often the one to pick on while playing cards, dominoes or watching TV with the family.

The empty space in the lives he has touched and the loss of the words his pen would write is heartbreaking.

He has gone to be with the mother he has longed for since her passing in 2006 and with Jesus to whom he had given his heart and his life. He finally found the path for which he searched.
We love you, Robin.


The world has left me only the hard places

To sow my seed

My seed is incorruptible

I throw it high into the winter wind


Roses grow from barren stone


The snow falls around my shoulders

By Robin Leslie Coffee


Robin was a Cherokee author, poet and artist He was the owner of Whitebird Publishing Company. Robin attended Sequoyah High School and graduated from NSU with a degree in psychology. Robin worked at Talking Leaves Job Corps, Hasting Behavioral Health Clinic, Mankiller Clinic in Stilwell, Jack Brown Treatment Center in Tahlequah, Dandollar Rental in Tahlequah.
He enjoyed spending time with his family, fishing, playing cards, going to church at Steely Springs General Baptist Church in Tahlequah, going to football and basketball games at Sequoyah High School and writing poetry. He was currently working on another book. Robin received the Cherokee Medal of Honor in 2000. Preceding him in death is his mother and father; grandfather, Harpley Johnson, a Creek Indian from Okmulgee; grandmother, Amy Johnson, a Yankton Sioux Indian from Wagoner, S.D.; grandparents, George and Lucy Hawkins Coffee, Cherokee Indians of Tahlequah; niece, Leigh Michelle Solomon and her infant daughter Darlene of Bellingham, Wa.; nephew, Sean Ray Sarren and brother-in-law, Vincent Edward Sarren of Tahlequah. Robin is survived by his daughter, Crystal Amy Dawn Drywater and her husband Matt and their daughter, Nadia; four brothers and two sisters, Leonard Coffee and his wife Roberta of Vacaville, Calif., Jim Coffee and his wife Mary of Columbus, Kan., David Coffee and his wife Nora of Tahlequah, Steven Coffee and his wife Janelle of West Siloam Springs, Linda Sarren of Tahlequah, Deena Johnson and her husband Sam of Tahlequah; six nephews, Eric Vann and girlfriend Shelby Blossom of Tahlequah, Christopher Coffee and his wife Amy of Lenexa, Kan., Vincent Sarren of Tahlequah, Mike Weaver of Tahlequah, Jamie Settlemeyer and wife Becci of West Siloam Springs, Donald Aaron Coffee of West Siloam Springs; seven nieces, Kelly Vann of Tahlequah, Lindsey Coffee of Santa Clara, Calif., Elizabeth Houser and her husband Stephen of Joplin, Mo., Jody Sarren of Miami, Elaine Veales and her husband Robert of Tahlequah, Amy Romo and her husband Keegan of Tahlequah, Amber Settlemyre of West Siloam Springs, and Nova Birdtail of Tahlequah. He is also survived by several great nephews and nieces, aunts, Ginger Gaither, Deloris Crawford of Fort Worth, Texas, Jessie Still of Tahlequah and an honored elder cousin, Keeper Johnson of Morris , Oklahoma.

Family Members


  • Created by: Mary
  • Added: 22 Jun 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 53991818
  • PollysGranddaughter
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Robin Leslie Coffee (5 Oct 1953–22 Jun 2010), Find A Grave Memorial no. 53991818, citing Greenleaf Cemetery, Tahlequah, Cherokee County, Oklahoma, USA ; Maintained by Mary (contributor 47025884) .