Following her retirement from Royal Caribbean in 2008, Coffey moved to Colorado to be closer to her son and his family.
'Whether it was during her time working with the board of directors, the special care she paid to our godmothers or as my right hand for 20 years, Karen made a lasting mpression on our company,' Fain said in a staff memo. He called her 'one of a kind'—not just a dedicated employee but a loyal friend.
'Her tough exterior was only a facade for the softest heart you'd ever meet,' Fain added.
As anyone seeking an audience with the top Royal Caribbean brass can attest, Coffey was a smart and effective gatekeeper.
'Karen was a kick,' said Rod McLeod, former long-time senior Royal Caribbean executive. 'She was part of the fabric of Royal Caribbean ... She made a lot of good memories, a lot of fun.'
Royal Caribbean plans a memorial service on Sept. 20 in Miami. Fain said a memorial bench will be placed at the company's PortMiami headquarters, 'close to the water she so loved.'
Coffey is survived by her son Craig, daughter-in-law Marty, sister Sissy and two grandchildren, Carter and Autumn.