Remembering Don Coufal

Don Coufal was undoubtedly a first-class Boom Operator in high demand and was liked by everyone who had the opportunity of working with him. Don’s skill and perfection in his work was renowned. He was a Sound Mixer’s dream, because when Don ran the floor, he would tell you everything you needed to mix great tracks and above all, his microphone positioning was perfect.

One of the longest working relationships Don Coufal had was with Jeff Wexler. They worked together on just about every feature film in Jeff’s long résumé, over forty years together. They were a team, ‘Jeff and Don’ or more like ‘Don and Jeff.’

Don lost his two-year battle with cancer in November. Don bravely chronicled his thoughts, treatment, and prognosis regularly on Facebook. We all followed his posts and replied with incredible support. When we read the awful news, the outpouring of love, grief and condolences was emblematic of how much Don meant to all of us.

On Friday, December 6, there was a Memorial service at the Valley Oaks-Griffin Memorial Park in Westlake Village, followed by a graveside service. An overflow crowd was in attendance, not just those of us from Local 695, but Camera Operators, 1st AD’s, and many many more.

Heartfelt remembrances were delivered by Ronnie Coufal, Don’s younger brother and Jeff Wexler, followed by Forrest Williams, poignantly playing his guitar and singing Willie Nelson’s “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.”

In the twilight glow I see them
Blue eyes cryin’ in the rain
When we kissed goodbye and parted
I knew we’d never meet again
Love is like a dyin’ ember
Only memories remain
Through the ages I’ll remember
Blue eyes cryin’ in the rain
Some day when we meet up yonder
We’ll stroll hand in hand again
In a land that knows no partin’
Blue eyes cryin’ in the rain
Now my hair has turned to silver
All my life I’ve loved in vain
I can see her star in heaven
Blue eyes cryin’ in the rain

Songwriter: Fred Rose

Cameron Crowe
December 5, 2019
Don is one of the rare people you meet in this world who leads with heart and soul. He’ll lean in and talk with you, eyes always focused on yours, and get right to the epicenter of things. With quiet razor-sharp powers of observation, he’ll tell you what he’s seen or what he’s feeling ... and it’s always through the prism of brilliance and empathy. He roots for everybody and everything wonderful in this life, and reflects it back to us with his special smile and that twinkle that lives forever. Miss you and love you brother. Your love and loyalty means the world, and will always be present with us, his friends, his co-workers, and his wonderful family. No need for past tense, Don is with us always. Right now and every day after. We love you brother!"

Don is survived by his ex-wife Lenore Alexander, his two daughters Emma and Libby, as well as his brothers and sisters from Texas.