February 14, 2011

John Nelson & Mary Thelma Gatewood Coffey

John Nelson Coffey
Mary Thelma Gatewood Coffey
John Nelson was the only son born to John William and Frances Little Coffey.  He was born Jan. 4, 1902 in Raleigh, Wake Co., NC and died there on Jul. 20, 1988.  He was married to Mary Thelma Gatewood, born May 22, 1906 on Jan. 28, 1928 in Danville, Pittsylvania Co., VA.  Mary was born in Wadesboro, Anson Co., NC and died in Raleigh on Dec. 27, 1988.  Both are buried in Montlawn Memorial Park in Raleigh.

Obituary, The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC), July 1988
J.N. Coffey, former council member, dies

John Nelson Coffey, 86, a former Raleigh City Council member and president of John W. Coffey & Son General Contractors, died Wednesday.

Coffey was on the city council in the late 1950s, serving as chairman of the public works committee.  He also was a longtime member of the board of directors of First Federal Savings and Loan Association.

A Raleigh native, Coffey graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  His son, John N. Coffey Jr., said  he was a former president of the North Carolina Aero Club and organized trips across the world for the group of private pilots.  Cuba, the Caribbean Islands and sites in the Mediterranean Sea were among some of the places he had visited, the son said.

"He loved to travel," the younger Coffey said.  "He took two trips overseas every year."  The younger Coffey described his father as a man who loved people.  "He never met a stranger," his son said.

Coffey is survived by his wife, Mrs. Thelma Gatewood Coffey; sons, John N. Coffey Jr. and Thomas Gatewood Coffey, both of Raleigh; sisters, Mrs. Frances Green and Miss Natalie Coffey. both of Raleigh; and seven grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, St. Mary's Street.  The family will be at the funeral home from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and at the home of John N. Coffey Jr., 3605 Dade St., during other times.

Photos and obituary courtesy of John Coffey of Raleigh.

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