February 19, 2008

Robey James and Nelia Joan Moretz Coffey

Robey James was born Jul. 16, 1888 in the Globe Twp, Caldwell Co., NC. He was a son of Henry Kelly (Caleb) and Sarah Jane Gragg Coffey.

The given name of Robey was a somewhat popular name for boys in NC in the 1800's, and can be found spelled many ways; e.g., Roby, Robey, Robie, etc. I am not sure why the name was so popular in many Coffey families in western NC. Perhaps there was a well loved preacher, doctor or other prominent person with that name in that time. It's rather like some other popular names such as Finley and Avery, names of politicians and pioneers, given I suppose to boys in all families, not just Coffeys. I can only wish that more pioneers, politicians and people of note had been honored, and not so many named Jesse, James, Edward, Sarah, Mary and Elizabeth.

Be that as it may, Robey married Nelia Joan Moretz on Mar. 11, 1907, probably in Watauga Co. She was born Dec. 5, 1888, again probably in Watauga Co., to Jerome C. and Epsie E. Hagaman Moretz. Moretz ancestors were some of the early settlers in western NC.

Robey died Oct. 19, 1957 in Lenoir, Caldwell Co., and Nelia died Dec. 22, 1979 in Watauga Co. He is buried in the Pisgah Chapel Cemetery in Lenoir, Caldwell Co. I do not know where Nelia is buried, but presume that she lies adjacent to Robey.

When he registered for the draft on Jun. 5, 1917, he was 29 years old, and described himself as being stout with a medium build, blue eyes and was partially bald with light colored hair. He gave his occupation as farmer and blacksmith. There were five children in the household. A sixth child was born not too long after he registered.

I have found six children born to them:

Clarence Alexander, born Dec. 7, 1907, died Jul. 27, 1995. Clarence married Sarah Verlee Bryant, a daughter of Wilson Bradshaw and Nora Townsend Bryant. She was born Jul. 27, 1906 in Caldwell Co., and died Jun. 7, 2006 in Lenoir. Both are buried as Pisgah. Their children are: James Wilson, Walter Wayne, Charles Alex, Donald Raymond and Roy Lee.

His obituary:

Clarence Alexander Coffey, 87, of Route 13, Lenoir, died Thursday, July 27, 1995 at Valdese General Hospital.

He was born Dec. 7, 1907 in Caldwell Co. to the late Roby James Coffey and Nealie Hagaman [sic] Coffey. He was also preceded in death by one brother, Linny Coffey.

Mr. Coffey was a retired sawmiller and member of Harrisburg Baptist Church.

Survivors include his wife, Sarah Verlee Bryant Coffey of the home; five sons, Ray lee Coffey of Granite Falls, James Wilson Coffey, Walter Wayne Coffey, Donald Raymond Coffey and Charles Alex Coffey, all of Lenoir; one brother, Frank Coffey of Lenoir; two sisters, Epsie Greene and Gracie Smith, both of Lenoir; 12 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

The funeral is 2 p.m. Saturday at Pendry's Funeral Home Chapel with the Revs. Ted Williams and Tommy James officiating. Burial will be in the Pisgah baptist Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends tonight from 6 until 8:30 at the funeral home.
Gracie Jane, born Oct. 6, 1909 in Mulberry, Caldwell Co. and died in that county on Jul. 8, 1996. She is thought to have married a James E. Smith but, I have found no records. Gracie is buried at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Lenoir.

Her obituary:

Gracie Coffey Smith, 86, of Pope Place, Lenoir, died Monday, July 8, 1996 at Quality Care Rest Home.

She was born Oct. 6, 1909, in Caldwell County to the late Roby J. and Nelia Moretz Coffey. She was also preceded in death by two brothers, Clarence and Linney Coffey, and one sister, Eula Greene.

Mrs. Smith was a retired hosiery mill employee and a member of Shiloh United Methodist Church.

Survivors include her husband, James E. Smith of Lenoir; one brother, Frank Coffey of Lenoir; and one sister, Epsey Greene of Lenoir.

A graveside service will be Wednesday at Mt. Zion Baptist Church Cemetery at 11 a.m. with the Rev. James Evans officiating.

Mackie-High Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Eula Ruth, born 1912, died 1980. No further information.

Henry Frank, born Aug. 13, 1914 in Caldwell Co., and died there on Jul 13, 2003. He married Carlue (Charlene?) Hamby c1942. They had at least four children: Judy Elaine, Joseph Edward, Bonnie Kaye and Lynnie Jean.

His obituary:

Henry Frank Coffey, 88, of Churchview Lane, Lenoir, died Sunday, July 13, 2003, at the residence.

He was born Aug. 13, 1914, in Caldwell County to the late Roby Coffey and Nelia Moretz Coffey. He was also preceded in death by two brothers, C. A. Coffey and L.J. Coffey, and two sisters, Eula Greene and Gracie Smith.

Mr. Coffey was a member of Mulberry Baptist Church and was a U.S. Army veteran.

Survivors include three daughters, Judy Tripeltt of Lenoir, Bonnie Dodson of Robinsville and Lynnie McLoud of Trinity; two sons, J. E. Coffey of Lenoir and Joey Coffey of Boone; their mother, Charlue Greene of Robinsville; a sister, Epsie Greene of Lenoir; seven grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be may made to: Caldwell County Hospice, 902 Kirkwood St., Lenoir, N.C. 28645.

Pendry's Lenoir Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

Linney James, born in Watauga on Aug. 21, 1916, died in Caldwell on Dec. 1, 1995. He married Margaret Myrtle Walsh and they were the parents of Brenda Joyce, Patricia Ann and Kathy Sue.

Epsey Lou, born Oct. 13, 1918 in Boone, and died oct. 6, 2003 in Lenoir. She married Arvil Hansford Greene, a son of Alexander and Mollie Church Greene. He was born Jan. 2, 1917 in Watauga. I have not found a death date for him. Their children are: Otis Hubert, Juanita Dare, Treva Ann, and one unnamed child.

Her obituary:

Epsey Coffey Greene, 84, of Hollywood Ridge Road, Lenoir, died Monday, Oct. 6, 2003, at Lenoir Healthcare Center.

She was born Oct. 14, 1918 in Watauga County to the late Robey J. and Nellie Moretz Coffey. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by three brothers, Clarence Coffey, Lenny Coffey and Frank Coffey, and two sisters, Gracie Smith and Eula Greene.

Mrs. Greene was a homemaker and a member of Yadkin Valley Baptist Church where she was a former Sunday school teacher.

Survivors include her husband, Arvil H. Greene of the home; two sons, Otis H. Greene and Maynard C. Greene, both of Lenoir; two daughters, Ms. Juanita Dare Sparks and Mrs. Allen (Treva) Hennessee, both of Lenoir; nine grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at Greer-McElveen Funeral Home Chapel conducted by the Revs. Bobby Pritchard and Paul Dula. Interment will follow in Woodlawn Memorial Gardens.

The family will receive friends Wednesday evening from 7 until 8:30 p.m. at the funeral home.

Serving as pallbearers will be: Lonnie Greene, Henry Sutton, Clayton Watson, Dean Barrett, Mark Dula and Dylan Faulk.

Memorial contributions may be made to: Caldwell County Hospice, 902 Kirkwood Street, Lenoir, N.C. 28645.
Marriage dates for some families are difficult to come by. Please contact me at the above e-mail address if you can add to or correct any of this information.

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