November 5, 2012

Thomas Henry "Tom" & Ethel Marie Nichols Coffey

Tom & Ethel w/grandchild
who donated the photograph
Thomas Henry "Tom" Coffey was the first son and fourth of nine children born to Robert Finley and Crettie May Ritch* Coffey.  Robert was a son of Thomas Hall and Cora Ellen Tolbert Coffey and, Crettie was the daughter of James Henry and Candace Genelie [sic] Chester Ritch.

Tom was born Sep. 2, 1925 in Yadkin Valley and died in Lenoir, Caldwell Co., on Aug. 28, 1999.

Ethel was born May 4, 1927 in North Carolina to Lennie Lee and Henrietta "Ettie" Curtis Nichols.  Ethel died May 26, 2004 at Granite Falls.  Both she and Tom are buried at the Robert Coffey Cemetery** [35.95201,-81.60796] near Lenoir.

Tom and Ethel were married Oct. 27, 1945 in Caldwell Co.***

Ethel's obituary:

Ethel Marie Nicholas [sic] Coffey, 77, of Melrose Street, Lenoir, died Wednesday, May 26, 2004 at Camelot Manor Nursing Home.

She was born May 4, 1927 in Bath Co., Va. to the late Rev. Lenny Lee Nichols and Henrietta Curtis Nichols. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Henry Coffey; a brother, Richard Nichols and a sister, Lucy Summerow.

Mrs. Coffey retired from Bernhardt #7 and was a member of Mt. View Baptist Church.

Survivors include a son, Tommy Carroll Coffey of Hudson; a daughter-in-law, Deana Coffey of Hudson; daughter and son-in-law, Brenda Marie Fox and husband Tommy of Maiden; three brothers, Eddie Nichols and George Nichols both of Lenoir and Clarence Nichols of Granite Falls; a sister, Joncie Swearingin of Lenoir and three grandchildren, Marty and Amy Coffey and Robbie Fox.

Funeral services will be Saturday, May 29, 2004 at 11 a.m. at Pendry's Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. J.B. Crouse and Rev. Jeff Hoyle officiating. Burial will be at Coffey Family Cemetery.

The family will receive friends today, May 28, 2004 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Pendry's Funeral Home.

Memorials may be made to Caldwell County Hospice, 902 Kirkwood St. NW, Lenoir, NC 28645 or online condolences may be made at

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

Thomas' siblings and their spouses were:

Mary Belle, 1920-2012, married Lennie Edward Nichols c1943
Unnamed infant female, born/died Feb. 19, 1922
Beulah Evelyn, 1923-2009, married George Wesley Nichols, May 9, 1942
Jay Finley, 1927-2012, married Gertrude Clark, Dec. 24, 1948
Lillie May, 1930-?, married James Monroe Greene, 1930-1994
Lena Faye, 1932-?, married Homer Colfax Clark, 1927-2001.  Homer's first wife was Frances Louise Minton (1931-1991).  Faye's first husband was Joseph Cicero Greene (1928-1999).  They were married in 1948.
Beadie Oden, 1934-?, married Ralph Clark
Robert Claude, 1936-?, married Annie Ruth Watson, 1937-?

Corrections and/or additions welcomed.


*Surname sometimes spelled Rich
**Directions to this cemetery were described in June of 2012 by Bradley Ingells:  From Hwy 90 (Collettsville Road), take Mulberry Creek Road at Mount Olivet Methodist Church. Go to top of the hill (just after 2032 Mulberry Creek Road) and turn right on Robert's Place (dirt road). Go all the way to the end of the road (you will go past a small cemetery in the woods on the left [Philyaw Cemetery]). Keep going to the end, cemetery is on the left in an open area. Well maintained.  To locate, cut and paste coordinates into google maps.
***"North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979 ," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 05 Nov 2012), Thomas Coffey and Ethel Nichols, 1945.

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