Tags: Lucy Coffey | oldest | veteran | died

Lucy Coffey, Nation's Oldest Female Veteran, Dies at 108

By    |   Friday, 20 Mar 2015 07:02 PM

Lucy Coffey, the nation's oldest woman veteran, has died at the age of 108.

Coffey, who put on a uniform in 1943, died Thursday morning in San Antonio, the Bexar County Veterans Service Office said.

A small-town girl from a farm in Martinsville, Indiana, Coffey was working at an A&P supermarket in Dallas when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. She quit the store and joined the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, serving in the Pacific Theater and retiring after nearly three decades of military-related service.

"It was clear that the passage of time never dampened her patriotic love of country or her pioneering spirit," President Barack Obama, who met Coffey in the White House last summer, said Friday.

"As we remember her life and salute her service, our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, and loved ones today."

Coffey was excited to make last year's trip to Washington as part of a ceremony honoring WWII veterans, the San Antonio Express-News reports.

"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," she said at the time, the newspaper reports.

Coffey served in Japan, New Guinea and the Philippines, where she was promoted to staff sergeant and received the Philippine Liberation Ribbon for service during the Luzon campaign, the Defense Department said.

After the war, she stayed in the Pacific region, working as an Army civilian in Japan. She transferred in 1958 to Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, where she worked as an accountant until retiring in 1971. She remained in the San Antonio area.

"I am so honored to have met this incredible lady," Bexar County veterans service officer Queta Marquez told the Express-News. "She was truly a pioneer, and full of life and spunk."

Reuters contributed to this report.

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Lucy Coffey, the nation's oldest woman veteran, has died at the age of 108. Coffey, who put on a uniform in 1943, died Thursday morning in San Antonio, the Bexar County Veterans Service Office said.
Lucy Coffey, oldest, veteran, died
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2015-02-20
Friday, 20 Mar 2015 07:02 PM
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