MOUNT VERNON — Warren E. “Joe” Coffing, 85, of Mount Vernon, formerly of Fredericktown, died Friday morning, Dec. 14, 2012, at Grant Medical Center in Columbus following an extended period of ill health.
Joe was born in Morris Township, Knox County, July 3, 1927, and was the tenth child of Justus and Luella (Pearl) Coffing.
Joe has seven brothers and two sisters, eight of whom preceded him in death: Raymond, James, Emmett “Pete,” Mark, Ralph, Louise, Alice Tharp, and Art.
He is survived by one brother, Lloyd; and three sisters-in-law, Edna Orsborn, Mary Coffing, and Marie Coffing.
Joe and his loving wife, Beverly Lewis, were married July 19, 1947, in Fredericktown and have five children, Rick, of Columbus, Nancy and husband Butch Bates of Indiana, Susan Kim Coffing of Mount Vernon, Lisa and husband Elton Easterday of Mount Vernon, Julie and husband David Morris of Westerville; as well as four grandchildren, Alicia Johnston, Curtis and Kristen James, and Casey Camillo; five step grandchildren, Heather Bates Cox, Kim Morris Kerr, Todd Morris, Clay and Anna Easterday; five great grandchildren, Nevaeh, Carter, Evan, Gus and Abe; plus several nieces; and nephews.
Before the age of 5, young Warren lost both parents and was raised by his older siblings who eked out a living as tenant farmers during the Depression. As a young lad Warren was nicknamed “Joe” by his brothers and the name became his identity for life. Joe graduated from Fredericktown High School in 1945 and immediately entered the U.S. Navy, serving in the Seabees on Guam in the Pacific Theater. After World War II ended, Joe worked as a meat cutter at Zolman’s Market in Fredericktown, and then joined his father-in-law, Ralph Lewis, to own Lewis and Coffing IGA Supermarket in Fredericktown for 33 years. Joe also owned and operated Green Valley Meat Processing in Mount Vernon until retiring in 1991.
A lifelong resident of Knox County, Joe placed the highest value on family and community where he supported the Fredericktown Schools and athletic programs, Little League, bowling leagues and the Knox County Fair. He has been a 60-year Freemason of Thrall Lodge 170, F. and A.M. and a member of the First Baptist Church in Fredericktown.
An ardent sports enthusiast, Joe regaled his family over the years of his Fredericktown High School exploits, especially his times playing football with Ollie Cline. Joe is in the FHS Hall of Fame as a member of the 1943 Football Championship Team.
A devoted family man, Joe was married to his surviving lifelong love Beverly, for 65 years. He was a dearly loved father, guide, and mentor to his five children and an active and beloved grandfather to his many grandchildren, which also extended to his love of family pet dogs, cats and horses. His varied interests included traveling, hunting, gardening, bowling, reading, birding, barbecuing, and sports. Joe and his brothers regularly attended the Little Brown Jug in Delaware for almost 50 years. He was a loyal fan of the OSU Buckeyes (both football and basketball) and the Cleveland Browns and Indians, where he enjoyed taking carloads of friends and family for many years.
The family of Joe Coffing would like to express their deepest appreciation to the medical staff and Palliative Care at Grant Medical Center, especially Michelle Jackson, and to HomeReach Hospice. Memorial contributions may be made, in Joe’s name to Hospice of Knox County, 17700 Coshocton Road, Mount Vernon, OH 43050.
The family will receive friends from 1 to 3 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday at the Snyder Funeral Home, 33 East College St., Fredericktown. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at the Fredericktown First Baptist Church with The Rev. Reginald Martin officiating. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the funeral service. Burial will follow in the Forest Cemetery with Military Honors provided by the Knox County Joint Veterans Council. Thrall Lodge 170, F. and A.M. will conduct the Masonic Memorial service at the funeral home following the visitation.
Private condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting, www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.
The Snyder Funeral Home in Fredericktown is honored to serve the family of Warren E. “Joe” Coffing.Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.