January 13, 2007

Lee Ella Coffey (Corrected Info)

William Washington and Lee Ella Coffey Collins
Lee Ella Coffey was born Nov., 1881 in Caldwell Co., NC to Thomas Avery Coffey and Louisa E. Gragg. She was a grand-daughter of Austin Coffey and Mary A. Blaylock, and half-niece to the infamous Keith Blaylock.

Lee Ella is shown here with her second husband, William Washington Collins, born c1867 in Georgia. They were married c1903 in North Carolina.

She and William had at least three children:


  • E. Spencer Halton, born Oct. 9, 1903
  • De Estia Sylvia*, born Dec. 14, 1905
  • Thomas William Staple, born Sep. 6, 1915
Lee and William also adopted Norma Pauline Coffey, the daughter of Olin James Coffey.
Lee Ella's first husband was Joseph Commodore Church, born Jul. 1878 in North Carolina. They had one child, a daughter Alma who married Orville Johnson of Tennessee.

*Some comments to me indicate that her given name was Deatte but was called Sally. The NC Birth Index lists her as De Estia Sylvia Collins**.

Her obituary reads:

Miss Sally Collins, age 92, of 112 Collins Store Road, Blowing Rock, died Thursday morning, January 15 [1997], at Watauga Medical Center.

A retired motel owner and operator and former merchant, Miss Collis was born at Shulls Mills on December 14, 1905, a daughter of the late W.W. and LeElla Coffey Collins. She was a member of the Blue Ridge Advent Christian Church.

Miss Collins is survived by one sister, Norma Hodges*** and husband, Rev. Howard Hodges of Morganton, N.C.; one sister-in-law, Mrs. Edna Hampton of Boone, two nephews, William S. Collins, Jr. of Conway, South Carolina and Roy Johnson of Kingsport, Tennessee; four nieces, Sharon Dowdy of Altamont Springs, Florida, Ernestine Nanny of Marion, S.C., Rebecca Parsons, of Lexington, N.C. and Susan Ballard of Charlotte, N.C.; several great nieces and nephews also survive.

She was preceded in death by her parents, W.W. and LeElla Coffey Collins, two brothers, Staple Collins and Spencer Collins, two half brothers and two half sisters.

Funeral services for Miss Collins were conducted Saturday, January 18 at The Blue Ridge Advent Christian Church. Officiating was the Rev. Ronnie Jones and the Rev. Gordon Nobles. Interment followed in the Boone Fork Cemetery.

Memorials may be considered to the Blue Ridge Advent Christian Church, in care of Susan Coffey, 146, Wilson Coffey Road, Blowing Rock, NC 25605.

Austin and Barnes Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

**Name: De Estia Sylvia Collins Date of Birth: 14 Dec 1905 Gender: Female Race: White Birth County: Watauga Parent1 Name: William Washington Collins Parent2 Name: Lee Ella Coffey Roll Number: B_C102_66001 Volume: 18 Page: 53

***Norma Pauline Coffey Hodges died on Nov. 9, 2003 in Denton, Davidson Co., NC. Her obituary reads:

DENTON--Mrs. Norma C. Hodges, 79, of Denton, died Sunday, Nov. 9, 2003, at her home. Born in Watauga County on June 3, 1924, she was a daughter of the late Olin J. and Estie Coffey Coffey and was a homemaker and a member of Zion Baptist Church in Morganton. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, the Rev. Howard Thomas Hodges, who died April 20, 2001. She also was preceded in death by her foster family, Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Collins, Sally Collins, Spencer and Staple Collins.

She is survived by daughters, Rebecca Parsons and husband, Lloyd, of Denton, and Susan Bullard of Fort Mill, S.C.; grandchildren, Jessica, Caitlin and Robb Bullard of Fort Mill, S.C. and Jen Parsons of Richlands and Amanda Perez of High Point.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Zion Baptist Church in Morganton.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Cedar Grove Baptist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 1048, Linwood, N.C. 27299.

Briggs Funeral Home in Denton is assisting the family.


Photo courtesy of Margaret Coffey Farley

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