June 25, 2016

New Headstone for Annie Lewis (Alexander) Coffey

The following was submitted by Kevin D. West [kdwest@sandspringsok.org]. Annie was his GG-grandmother:

Annie Lewis Alexander was born on 24 Jan 1863 in Parker Co., Texas.  She was the daughter of Lewis and Sarah E. (Culwell) Alexander.  Around 1878, while still residing in Parker Co., Annie married Frank Hudson Coffey.  Frank was born 10 Jan 1861 in Texas, the son of Elijah D. Coffee and Margaret “Peggy” Armstrong.  Frank and Annie Coffey later moved to the Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) in late 1889 or early 1890.  They were still residing there when the 1900 Census was taken.  A decade later they were living in Oldham and Carson Cos., in the Texas panhandle, where Frank worked for the railroad.  But, by 1920 Frank and Annie had moved back to Oklahoma, settling in Tulsa, where they remained into the 1930s. 

Photo by Kevin D. West
Annie Lewis (Alexander) Coffey passed away sometime in early January of 1936.  Regrettably, no death certificate is on file for her at the State Health Dept.  I have attempted to determine her exact date of death, having searched in newspapers, funeral home and other records, as well as by submitting queries both printed and online, all without success.  Fortunately, Tulsa’s Memorial Park Cemetery, where Annie Coffey is buried, does have a record of her date of internment, that being 7 Jan 1936.  For nearly eighty years, my great, great-grandmother’s grave has remained unmarked, but no longer.  Her specific date of birth and date of burial are inscribed on the headstone. 

After his wife’s death, Frank Coffey moved to Bristow, Creek Co., Oklahoma where he later passed away on 13 Jun 1940.  According to his death certificate, he is buried in the Bristow City Cemetery.  Unlike his wife Annie, Frank’s grave is still unmarked.  And, unfortunately, the City has no record of where in the cemetery he is buried.  My paternal grandmother, Annie Jewel (Smith) West, daughter of Arizona Pearl (Coffey) Smith, often said of her maternal grandparents, Frank and Annie Coffey, that they were “good, Christian people.”  What better epitaph could anyone wish?  

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