Cover photo for William "Bill" Rex Coffey's Obituary
William "Bill" Rex Coffey Profile Photo
1937 Bill 2024

William "Bill" Rex Coffey

April 27, 1937 — February 24, 2024

Carmel

William Rex Coffey was born on April 27, 1937, in Broughton, IL the fifth of the six children of Arthur and Ruth Jones Coffey. He died on February 24, 2024, at The Barrington of Carmel where he has resided for nearly six years with his wife, Elizabeth Ann Romine Coffey. Bill and Liz were married for nearly sixty-six years. Their two sons are Arthur Charles (Therese) of Pewaukee, WI, whose children are Grace (Jon) Aki, Samuel and Olivia. Their second son, Christopher David of Zionsville, IN, has two sons, William and David. Chris’s fiancé, Laura Klinestiver has two daughters, Leah and Elise.

Bill attended the University of Evansville in Evansville, IN where he received a B.S. degree in 1959 in industrial engineering with a mechanical engineering degree option in studies. He attended Indiana University Law School Indianapolis, graduating with a J.D. in 1963. He worked for five years as an engineer at Naval Avionics helping to develop the guidance system for the Polaris Missile. He entered the legal profession in 1964 with Harold Hood and Herbert Minturn as his mentors. Both died within a six-month period. Bill then formed an intellectual property law firm known as Jenkins, Coffey, Hyland, Badger, and Conard.  In 1982, Barnes and Thornburg asked Bill to join them making the firm the first full-service law firm in the state to have a substantial group of lawyers all with engineering or science degrees, who practice exclusively in the intellectual property and trade regulation. This small group of lawyers practicing in this specialized field has now grown to over 150 lawyers in multiple locations throughout the country,

Bill as the chairman of the intellectual property area served several U.S. and foreign companies in connection with intellectual property and trade regulation matters including the legal framework involved in marketing their products and services. 

He was admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and several courts and was a member of the American intellectual Property Law Association. He served as a former chairman of the Patent and Trademark Section of the Indiana State Bar Association.

Together with several IP lawyers from around the U.S. he helped form TechLaw, an organization of departments within law firms that specialized in intellectual property. They soon extended their membership to several countries around the world. Bill served as president during the early years.

Always available to support his two boys, he became an assistant Boy Scout Leader. Their sporting events always found him cheering in the stands. He never failed to support his wife, Liz, in the many organizations she served. Accolades have been pouring in expressing the importance of his friendship and his superb ability to mentor others while doing it with humor and vast knowledge.

His celebration of life will be held at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, 1402 W. Main St., Carmel, IN 46032 on Monday, March 4. 2024. A reception will be held at 10:00 AM followed by a service at 11:00 AM. Lunch will be served in the church social hall following the service. 


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Gathering

Monday, March 4, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Christopher's Episcopal Church

1402 West Main Street, Carmel, IN 46032

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Celebration of Life

Monday, March 4, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Christopher's Episcopal Church

1402 West Main Street, Carmel, IN 46032

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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