Andy Murray Coffey
October 19, 1923 – January 19, 2018
Andy Murray Coffey was born October 19, 1923 in Myrtle, Mississippi and passed away at his home in New Albany on January 19, 2018, surrounded by loved ones. Murray grew up having a happy childhood with his family in Myrtle, graduated from high school there, and begin studies at Mississippi State University. He served in World War II in Europe in the 89th Infantry Division from 1944-1946 with a brief stint before that in the Air Force. He landed in France on the second day of the D-Day Invasion, was in the Battle of the Bulge, the Rhine River Crossing, and his division liberated the Concentration Camp in Ohrdruf, Germany, the first concentration camp encountered by US soldiers. He received the Bronze Star and other decorations while fighting in Europe and remained in Europe in the Occupation Army until 1946. Following an honorable discharge as a 1st Lieutenant, he returned home, married his high school sweetheart, Katherine Harris (Kitty) Coffey, and completed his education and received a degree in Geology from Mississippi State University.
He worked initially in Houston for Amerada Petroleum Corporation, later in Lafayette, Louisiana, Tulsa, and again in Lafayette until his retirement in 1972. Afterwards, he opened an office in Lafayette for Freeport-McMoRan Exploration and shortly thereafter opened his own Geological Consulting business. Murray was one of the initial founders of the Lafayette Geological Society. He was a member of the Petroleum Club and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. He was a member of the First Methodist Church and he and his wife worked tirelessly to assist the church in its expansion programs in the 1950-60s.
He is survived by a son, Glenn Harris Coffey and wife Mary and two step-grandsons, Zack and Justin. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 66 years, Katherine Harris Coffey, his parents, Lee Humphreys Coffey and Annie Murray Coffey, one brother Lee Humphreys Coffey, Jr., who died in early childhood, and two sisters Virginia Coffey Tate and Elizabeth Coffey Gladney of Myrtle.
An avid and near pro quality tennis player, Murray played tennis for the U. S. Army and for Mississippi State University. He complied an extensive collection of military books, and books by native Mississippi authors, Eudora Welty and William Faulkner. As a benefactor of the Union County Historical Society and the Mississippi University for Women over the years, Murray donated his extensive collections of books to these organizations for the use and enjoyment of others, and especially enjoyed watching the growth and expansion of these organizations. Murray also donated the land where the new Myrtle Town Center offices and associated buildings are located.
He enjoyed traveling, especially to Europe, and visiting again the places where he served his country in WWII. A generous man who lived a full life, Murray always had an interesting story about the war, the oilfield, or his youthful days in north Mississippi. In his early 90’s Murray became an author and published books about his childhood days growing up in Myrtle and his memories of World War II.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to United Funeral Service of New Albany, Mississippi. Graveside services will be held at 2:00 PM at Gerizim Cemetery in Myrtle, Mississippi with a celebration of life immediately following at Myrtle Methodist Church.
In honor of Mr. Coffey’s service to his country, United Funeral Service will fly the U.S. Army flag during his visitation.
JAN 21. 02:00 PM
Myrtle, MS, US
Celebration of Life
JAN 21. 02:30 PM
Myrtle United Methodist Church
Myrtle, MS, US