Friends, Colleagues Remember Coquille Chief Don Ivy

Coquille Indian Tribe in Coos County will soon have a new leader following the death of Chief Don Ivy on July 19. New leadership will be chosen during an upcoming election for the first time since the onset of Ivy’s governing in 2014.  

Ivy, who was referred to as a “consistent source of wisdom and kindness” for the Coquille Tribe, died at the age of 70 after a seven-month struggle with cancer despite ongoing treatment. He will be honored at a memorial service on September 25 at the Mill Casino Hotel in North Bend at 1:00 p.m.  

Ivy is remembered and mourned by many, including executive director at the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Tim Slater.  

“He got things done, and he did it well,” Slater told KCBY. “He would not avoid tough situations, he was able to bring people together and make things happen that way. And very genuine in his friendships with everybody…a job well done, but leaving too early.”   

Bob Zybach, who earned a PhD in Environmental Sciences from Oregon State University, claims he knew Ivy for roughly 30 years and is also among those mourning the chief’s death. Zybach and Ivy had worked on a trails project together and had planned on eventually getting the Coquille trails report into local schools.  

“Don was a really good guy and a really great tribal leader,” Zybach told KLCC. “He loved to fish, we worked mostly on historical materials related to Coquille Tribe and think his legacy will be the tribe’s history and his efforts to assemble that.”   

Ivy is also remembered as a “straight shooter” and “excellent person” with “infectious enthusiasm.”   

By: Rebekah Harcrow