January 25, 2010

Peter Virgil "Squire" Coffey

This is a third blog attempt to bring together the family of Peter and his descendants.  I did not have a lot of information on them until I found Wayne Coffey's headstone collection that he submitted to Find-A-Grave.  Wayne also sent the obituary and other information about Peter's family.

Peter Virgil Coffey
Peter was a son of Charles B. & Ophelia* Everette (var.) Coffey.  He was born on Jun. 15, 1849 in Nelson Co., VA and died in Stuarts Draft, Augusta Co., VA on May 21, 1937.  He is buried at Calvary United Methodist Church cemetery at Stuarts Draft.

*Amherst Co. marriage records, 1763-1821 gives her name as Theodora.  Early American Marriages: Virginia to 1850, spells her name as Theocler with the letter S written in over the letter R.

His obituary:

STUARTS DRAFT, May 28-, -- Peter V. Coffey, peacefully passed to his  heavenly home, at his residence at Stuarts Draft at one a. m. Friday,  May 21, 1937, after an illness of about a month.  He was born in Nelson  county June 15, 1849, of Scottish descent, his father having been Charles Coffey and his mother Ophelia Coffey (nee Everet). He moved to Augusta county when a young man and spent the rest of his long and useful life in, and in the vicinity of Stuarts Draft where he engaged in farming,  lumbering, etc. For the last twenty years of his life he was justice of the peace and was known as "Squire Coffey."

Mr. Coffey was united in marriage to Miss Bettie Catherine Kennedy, of  Augusta county, Dec. 24, 1879*. To this marriage were born four daughters and five sons. His wife, who passed away June 17, 1930, and a son and two daughters preceded him in death.  Children survive: J. E.  and J. L., of Mint Spring; the Rev. H. S., pastor of Granbery Memorial  M. E. church, South, Covington; Mrs. M. E. Elliott, Staunton; Russel E., Bluefield, W. Va., and Mrs. Roy Black, Stuarts Draft, who tenderly cared for him after the death of Mrs. Coffey.

 Mr. Coffey united with the Baptist church in early life, but many years  ago transferred his membership to the M. E. church, South, in which he was  an efficient and faithful member and held an official relation for many  years, having been a delegate frequently to the annual and district  conferences and was a member of the board of stewards of Calvary church  at the time of his death.  He was interested in the work of his adopted church until his death, often inquiring about the progress of the work  through his pastor and others.  He spoke of death as one who was preparing  for a pleasant journey. Death did not hold any terrors to him. He had  implicit faith in God for the forgiveness of sin through the atonement of  Jesus Christ.  He loved his church and the ministry of his church; always  was ready to speak a good word about the former pastors of his church.  He dearly loved his children and was held in the highest esteem and devotion  by his children and his grandchildren, of which he had a number.  Mr.  Coffey had been a prominent figure in his community for many years, in his  church, in business, in clean politics, and in everything that was for the  betterment of humanity.

His funeral service was conducted from Calvary church Sunday, May 23,  at three p. m. by his pastor, the Rev. A. Van Devander, assisted by Dr.  E. L. Woolf, pastor of the Harrisonburg M. E. church, South; the Rev. H. W.  Craver, pastor of Greenville M. E. church, South, and the Rev. T. H.  Campbell, pastor of Stuarts Draft Baptist church.  His body was tenderly  laid at rest in the cemetery adjoining Calvary church.  It is said by some  that his funeral was attended by the largest concourse of people that ever assembled at Calvary church. Less than half of the people could get in the  church.

At his own request the stewards of Calvary church were the active  pallbearers:  J. T. Almarode, Alden D. Rader, A. G. Painter, C. L. Dodge,  I. F. Fitzgerald, H. L. Henkel, W. Y. Boyd, E. M. Conner, and Layton Thacker.

The following hymns were sung: "The Solid Rock," "Home of the Soul,"  as a solo and "How Firm a Foundation."  His pastor chose as his theme,  "God's Harvest Home;" text, "Thou shalt come to thy grave in full age,  like as a shock of corn cometh in his season," Job 5:26.
Bettie Catherine Kennedy Coffey
Peter married Bettie Catherine Kennedy on Dec. 24, 1879 in Augusta Co.  Betty was born on July 25, 1857 in Virginia and died there on June 17, 1930.  See too is buried at Calvary.

Their children were:

John Emmett, born May 9, 1877, died Nov. 5, 1942.  John married first, Willie Harris c1904 in Augusta Co.  She was born Jan. 8, 1882 in VA and died on Jul. 18, 1915.  She and John had three children:  Bessie, Rudolph Wilson and Ivey, a daughter.  Some years after Willie's death, John married (c1922) Nancy Melissa Berry.  Melissa was born Oct. 3, 1882 and died Sep. 4, 1946.  John, Willie and Melissa are buried at Calvary.

James Leonard, born Nov. 11, 1879, died Jul. 14, 1941, married Bertie May Shue on Dec. 24, 1900 in Augusta Co.  She was born May 10, 1880 to John W. and Elizabeth S. Alvis Shue and died Feb. 19. 1956.  Their children were: (1) Paul H., born c1902; (2) James Austin, born May 17, 1906, died Aug 3, 1976 in Culpeper Co.  He married Jean Gladys Marlowe c1928.  She was born in VA on Jun. 17, 1906 and died Nov. 28, 1955 in Culpeper Co. (3) Allen, born c1908; (4) Ethel Ray, born 1916, married James Ray Strawn on Jun. 30, 1938 in Augusta Co.; (5) Richard Lee, born Mar 31, 1919 in Mint Spring, Augusta Co., died Jan. 14, 1978 in Staunton.  Richard married Nora Lee O'Dell in 1946, Augusta Co.  She was born Aug. 8, 1924 in Fayette Co., KY and died on Sep. 29, 1978 in Augusta Co.  James and Bertie are buried at Calvary.

Bessie Brown, born Jan. 1, 1882.  No other information.

Annie B., born Sep. 20, 1887, died Oct. 9, 1961.  Annie married a Mr. Elliot.  Her grave is also at Calvary.

Rev. Harry Scott Coffey, D.D., born Dec. 6, 1889 at Stuarts Draft, died there on Jun. 8, 1964.  He married Julia Durham c1915.  She was born Dec. 26, 1895 in GA and died at Stuarts Draft on Apr. 28, 1968.  They too are at Calvary.  Their children were Betty R., born c1918; Harry, Jr., born c1924, married Jean Shirley Williams; and John H., born c1929.  For several years (1916-1920) Harry, Sr. was the pastor at Fairfield Methodist Church in Rockbridge Co., VA.

The following was found in The Atlanta Constitution of Apr. 16, 1916:

Mrs. Yula Reese Durham announces the engagement of her daughter, Julia, to Rev. Harry Scott Coffey, of Virginia, the marriage to take place the latter part of May.  No cards.  The marriage will be of cordial interest to a wide circle of friends.  Miss Durham is the granddaughter of the late Judge Augustus Reese of Madison, GA., and a niece of the late Judge Seaborn Reese, of Sparta.  Mr. Coffey is of a distinguished Virginia family.

Russell E., born Mar, 13, 1891, died Aug. 12, 1975 in Mercer Co., WV.  Russell married Ada C., daughter of David Lee and Minnie L. Holtz.  She was born Jul. 12, 1892 in VA and died in Mercer Co. on Aug. 8, 1959.  They are buried at Maple Park Cemetery at Bluefield.  Their children were Helen, born c1911; Russell Lee, born c1916; and Marjorie Elizabeth, born Oct. 5, 1923, died Mar. 27, 2006 at Roanoke, VA.

Her obituary:

Obituary, Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV, Mar. 30, 2006

Miss Marjorie Elizabeth Coffey

ROANOKE, Va. — Miss Marjorie Elizabeth Coffey, 82, formerly of 3009 Bluefield Ave., Bluefield, died Monday, March 27, 2006 in a Roanoke nursing home.

Born Oct. 5, 1923 in Bluefield, she was a daughter of the late Russell E. and Ada C. Holtz Coffey. Miss Coffey was a member of the St. Mary's Episcopal Church of Bluefield, Va. and a graduate of Bluefield College. She was formerly employed at Bluefield Optical as an office manager.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother: Russell Lee Coffey, and sister: Helen Bone.

Survivors include a niece; Nancy Arwood of Kentucky and several cousins.

Graveside services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 1, 2006 from the Maple Park Cemetery located in Bluefield with the Rev. Russ Hatfield officiating.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations if desired, may be made to the Mercer County Humane Society, 1003 Shelter Rd., Princeton, WV 24740.

Those wishing to share memories or condolence messages may do so by visiting www.mercerfuneralhome.com

Mercer Funeral Home and Crematory of Bluefield is serving the Marjorie Coffey family.
Mary Sue, born Dec., 1892.  No further information.

Ruby Lee, born Jun. 23, 1895, died Jul. 6, 1991 at Staunton.  She married Robert Hamilton Black, born VA c1894, died Mar. 16, 1951.  Their children were Inez, born c1916 and Sherwood, born c1926.

*Virginia marriage records give marriage year as 1874.  Additionally, in the 1900 census Peter and Bettie reported a marriage of 26 years, indicating too that their marriage year was 1874.

Corrections/additions welcomed!

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