James Hardy Coffey was born in January, 1884 to Thomas Avery and Louisa E. Gragg Coffey. He married Lillie Mae Gray but a marriage date has not yet been found. They were the parents of several children. I have found three: Bonnie Juanita, born Aug. 4, 1906; Lola, born May 9, 1908, and James Bynum, born Apr. 28, 1912.
Hardy was a deputy sheriff in Avery Co., NC when he was shot and killed on Apr. 5, 1936 by his nephew, Ernest Reid Coffey, a son of John Wesley Coffey, brother to James Hardy.
Hardy suspected the nephew of breaking into summer camps around the county. After completing work on the night of Apr. 5 and shortly after returning to his home and family, a shotgun blast through a window fatally wounded Hardy.
Hardy's entry on The Officer Down Memorial website.
Photo courtesy Margaret Coffey Farley