January 13, 2008

Virgil Coffee

Virgil Coffey
Coffey Cousins lost a dear and great friend today.

Virgil Coffee died this morning at about 7:30MST in Albuquerque, NM where he lived with his son Dale and his family. Another son, Ed Coffee of Dale City, VA also survives. There are other children and grandchildren who survive but I do not know all of them. Ed is current "president" of Coffey Cousins'.

Anyone who ever met Virgil at one of the Coffey Cousins' reunions knows how knowledgeable he was about his genealogy. He could recite more lineages from memory than most people can store on computers.

Arrangements were incomplete when I spoke to the family this afternoon.

I have expressed my condolences to the family and have notified those Coffey Cousins' for whom I have an e-mail address. Please forward a link to this entry to anyone who you believe may have known Virgil, and who may not know about his death.

Please keep Virgil and his family in your prayers!


Virgil Oren Coffee, 94, of McIntosh, passed away January 13, 2008, at the home of his son Dale in Rio Rancho. Born October 5, 1913, in Hugo, Oklahoma, to James Carroll and Lelia Jane Kendrick Coffee. He was the fourth of their six children.

Virgil lived in Hugo and attended public schools there. During the late 1920's and early 1930's he worked a variety of agriculture related jobs until he finally became a short-order cook. He worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps as a cook in camps in California. In 1935 he enlisted in the United States Army; becoming an officer during World War II. He served in the Medical Service Corps performing medical evacuation during combat operations in Europe. When conflict began in Korea in 1950 he saw action again as an officer conducting medical evacuation during combat operations. He retired from the Army in 1956, with the rank of Major, while serving as medical supply officer of the station hospital, Sandia Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico. After working for the New Mexico National Guard in supply operations in the late 1950's, he worked as a weapons management specialist for the Defense Nuclear Agency in Albuquerque, 1960-73. During this period he was detached to work with the State Department's AID mission in Vietnam, 1967-68. He was in Saigon during the Tet Offensive.

Virgil married a young widow, Iva Fern Wingfield Green, June 3, 1938, in Las Cruces, New Mexico. They had seven children. The family lived in California, Arizona, New Mexico (Alamogordo), Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico (Albuquerque, 1953-61; McIntosh, 1961-2008).

Virgil was predeceased by his parents; his wife; one son, Daniel Lee Coffee; one great-grandson, Damon Coffee; two brothers, Robert Lee and James Haskell Coffee; and two sisters, Margaret and Nadine Coffee.

He is survived by three sons, Edwin Russell Coffee and wife Phyllis of Woodbridge, VA; Virgil Oren Coffee, Jr. of Albuquerque; Dale Scott Coffee and wife Nola of Rio Rancho; three daughters, Iva Fern Barclay and husband Ernest of Moriarity; Barbara Jean Gonzales and husband Tommy of Blue Water Lake; Patricia Laverne Britt of Odessa, Texas; brother Edwin Russell Coffee of Bakersfield, California; sixteen grandchildren; twenty-four great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.

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