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1932 Jeremiah 2022

Jeremiah N. Coffey

August 18, 1932 — October 17, 2022



WORCESTER-Jeremiah (Jerry) Neylan Coffey, 90, died Monday, October 17 in Auburn Life Care Center.

Jerry was born in Worcester on August 18, 1932, to Teresa M Neylan and Jeremiah Coffey, who had both immigrated to the United States from Ireland. He was a parishioner of St. Stephen Parish in Worcester and later in life a parishioner at the Immaculate Conception Parish in Worcester. Jerry was very proud of his Irish heritage; at times inviting those with whom he lovingly disagreed to kiss his Irish behind. Jerry served in the U.S. Army, where he lived by the motto of the First Infantry: “No Mission Too Difficult. No Sacrifice Too Great. Duty First.” Jerry was stationed in Germany and honorably discharged in 1952.

Always a blue collar, loyal and proud Worcester guy, Jerry worked for many years for the City of Worcester as a laborer and served on the city’s Retirement Board. A complex man who could be gruff and quiet at times, he also loved singing along at church, musicals including the Sound of Music, Wizard of Oz, and reveled in the performances of the Three Tenors and Celtic Women.

In 1958 he married Lillian (Gardella) Coffey, with whom he enjoyed 52 years of marriage until her death in 2010. They enjoyed trips to Cape Cod, Canada, and Atlantic City. In his younger days, Jerry enjoyed dancing, playing cards with family, and attending New Years’ Eve parties with the Symonaicks, Gardellas, and Junes. Jerry is survived by three children: Thomas Coffey, Lisa O’Neill Francis and her husband Brian, and Patricia Coffey.  Lisa was Jerry’s primary caregiver and he resided with her for a brief time and enjoyed traveling, watching Law & Order and Boston sports with Brian. 

In addition to his children, Jerry is survived by his brother Paul Coffey and his wife Peggy. Jerry is also survived by three grandchildren: Erica McHugh and her husband Matt, Patrick Coffey, and Kate Coffey. When he served as Commander of the Tuttle VFW Post he always made sure to deliver prizes from the meat raffles to Erica’s apartment. Jerry’s two great-grandchildren, Adalyn and Kaeden McHugh had a special place in his heart. He loved to play board games with them, and even let them paint his fingernails.

He also leaves behind his daughter-in-law Lauren Coffey, as well as many nieces and nephews, including: Michael Coffey, Danny Coffey, Jimmy Coffey, Kathy Coffey, Brian J. Sullivan, Karen M. Lenahan (Kevin), Sean P. Sullivan (Teri), Susan M. Riggens (Mike), Michael Gardella (Sue), Robert Gardella, Jr. (Sandy), Karen Gardella, Nancy Gardella, Steve Gardella, Jackie Berube, Tracy Williams, Nancy Sweeney and Robert Mitchell. A sister, Mary Margaret Hullinger predeceased him.

The family would like to thank all of Jerry’s friends at Colony Retirement Home in Worcester, where he loved to play Bingo and host parties for his neighbors. They would also like to thank Kelly Mitchell, the staff at Life Care in Auburn and NE Hospice, who took such good care of Jerry in the final weeks of his life, as well as Fr. Walter Riley of St. Anne’s of Shrewsbury, formerly of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Worcester, for coming to visit and anoint Jerry.

Visiting Hours are Thursday, October 20, from 5 to 7pm at Callahan Fay Caswell Life Celebration, 61 Myrtle St. A Funeral Mass will be Friday, October 21 at 11am in Immaculate Conception Church, 353 Grove St. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jerry’s name can be made to McAuley Nazareth Home for Boys in Leicester.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jeremiah N. Coffey, please visit our flower store.


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