The late Jerry Coffey
1931 - 2012
The death has occurred of Jerry Coffey of 29 Saint James Garden, Killorglin. He passed away in Kerry General Hospital on Sunday, April 29 at the age of 80.
Jerry Coffey was born May 25, 1931 in Killorglin to Patrick and Cathy. Jerry was one of 13 children; he had five brothers James, Lawrence, Myles, Michael and Sean, and seven sisters, Josie, Shelia, Joan, Kathleen, Maisie, Phil and Irene.
The family lived in Langford Street, Killorglin. Jerry often spoke about how much their neighbours helped their family and, in turn, he himself helped many people in his life.
Life was tough especially when Jerry's dad died when he was only 13. His dad had a horse drawn delivery service at the railway. Jerry left school to help out his family by working in the railway yard unloading and delivering goods around the town. He loved to work in the bog and also in his garden, growing potatoes and vegetables.
Jerry married the love of his life Betty Cummin from Caragh Lake in St. James Church in 1957. Shortly after they were married they moved to England and a year later returned to Killorglin. They had five children Patrick, Billy, Mary, Catherine and Elizabeth. In later years, they were blessed with 14 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Jerry worked from the age of 16 in the local cinema and in the cinema in Glen, Co. Limerick. Duffy O Shea, who owned both cinemas, also had a garage in Iveragh road, Killorglin, where Jerry also worked as a mechanic.
Jerry was also a founder member of the Rhythm Aces showband in the sixties. Playing throughout Munster they also played many venues in England. Jerry played accordion, guitar, Hawaiian steel guitar and piano.
Music was a very important in the Coffey household in those years. The neighbours would often talk about the great music they could hear up and down the street. The Rhythm Aces were well known locally and played dances in the Oisin Ballroom, CYMS Hall and on the Puck Fair Stand. He never missed Puck Fair and was delighted when his grand-daughter Kathlynn was Queen of Puck in 2010.
Jerry loved the simple things in life. When he could no longer work in the bog or tend his garden, he loved to walk with Betty around Killorglin. Jerry was known locally as the man with the walking stick.
They attended Mass every day when they could. Jerry was known for his sense of humour and spoke with everyone he met on his many walks. Jerry was a true gentleman and always had a smile for everyone. He influenced many people and loved to help others no matter who they were.
Jerry was a great provider for his family and loved to work in his local community. He was a great husband, father and grandfather and great grandfather.
Jerry would have been very humbled to witness the many mourners who attended in their droves to pay tribute to him and bring comfort to his family through his removal and requiem mass.
It was a fitting salute to a man who was entirely modest, hugely liked in the community and respected by all who knew him.
The family would like to express their thanks to the staff at the palliative care unit in Kerry General Hospital, especially in the Rathass and Muckross Ward, who provided such incredible care to Jerry.
Jerry will be sadly missed by his wife Betty, sons Patrick and Billy, daughters Mary, Catherine, Elizabeth, grandchildren, great grandchildren, sons-in-laws, daughters-in-laws, sisters and brothers, cousins, and many friends.