The nation’s oldest female veteran passed away in her home at 108-years-old on Thursday. The oldest World War II male veteran is Richard Overton, who is also 108-years old and is currently still alive in the state of Texas. Lucy Coffey who served in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in the Pacific, was found dead in her bed by her friend Quita Marquez, a friend and Bexar County, Texas, veterans service officer.
“I am so honored to have met this incredible lady,” Bexar County veterans service officer Queta Marquez said. “She was truly a pioneer, and full of life and spunk.”
The oldest female veteran had been ill the past week suffering with a chronic cough. The Bexar County Veterans Service Office announced that the female veteran had passed away in a statement on Thursday.
“It is with great sadness we learned that our beloved Ms. Lucy Coffey, our nation’s oldest female veteran, passed away this morning.”
Coffey, originally was an Indiana farm girl and working in the A&P grocery store when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. Coffey quit the A&P, and joined the newly created Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1943.
Veteran Coffey served in Japan, New Guinea, and the Philippines as well during her time in the service. She was promoted to staff sergeant, and received the Liberation Ribbon for her service during the Luzon Campaign according to her department.
After the conclusion of World War II she returned to the Pacific, and then to Japan, where she worked as a Army civilian. Coffey then went back to her home state of Texas in 1958 and worked on Kelly Air Force Base as an accountant till she retired in 1971.
Last summer Coffey, who was the oldest female veteran, flew to Washington D.C. with Honor Flight. Her fellow veterans worked to make it possible that the oldest veteran would be able to fly to the nation’s capitol. While Coffey was there she was able to visit the Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. The oldest veteran also met President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden during the memorable trip. Vice President Biden spent a half hour visiting with the amazing veteran in the West Wing.
“We spent some time together and, you know, I know she doesn’t speak, but she spoke to me.”
Coffey who has lived an extraordinary life, had the simplest reason for wanting to make the Honor Flight.
“I’d like to go to see things that are there that were not there before, it’s been a long time since I’ve been in Washington, but I would like to go to see the things that are there.”
Funeral plans are still pending for the nation’s oldest female veteran, but there will be a memorial service held in San Antonio. The veteran will be laid to rest in her home state of Indiana.
[Image Credit U.S. Patriot Tactical]