Monday, April 15, 2024

Peter “Pete” William Coffey, 79

CAROLINA BEACH — Peter “Pete” William Coffey, 79, left this earth surrounded by the incredible love of his family on February 24, 2024.

He was born in Fairport, NY October 10, 1944 and later moved to Carolina Beach, NC in 1993 embracing the warm new life down here. He enjoyed the beach, fishing with friends, concerts, casinos, traveling, jamming out to his beloved music and surrounded by fun people. Anyone who met Pete, definitely made a friend.

Pete was a very humble, yet decelerated Veteran and a war hero, earning many medals during his wartime, including the third highest decoration for valor in combat, Silver Star for Gallantry.

He received that, plus several more medals, by putting his own life on the line for others, carrying wounded to safety and helping his platoon under fire to escape with no regards of his own life or safety. Pete, when done with his tour in Vietnam, not only requested to enter another tour, but after being denied, fought to stay. He said he couldn’t fathom leaving his brothers behind. At war and at home, Pete was a hero to all of us.

After the war was over, Pete lived a life of spontaneous travel and freedom. He enjoyed a good road trip anytime he could. He loved his music, catching concerts across the entire country. Serenity to him was a good song played at the perfect decibel. He had a very adventurous life that was later reminisced in a “Pete style” story well into his senior years. One could only grip every word and laugh at the end of each rendition narrated by Pete. Those that knew him, know exactly what that means, he had some great stories.

Later in life, Pete lived the family life, married at the time to Darlene DeMonte who remained one of his best friends, and his children. He planned many camping trips with family and friends, creating such fond memories. Sometimes on a random Sunday, if he was bored, he would load up his family into the car to just take a “drive”. Often these lead to places not too far from home, but far enough to change the scenery. They were great memories as well. Pete was good at taking people to new places and show them something different. Even well into his 70’s, Pete would take road trips from NC, to Florida, Alabama, to Missouri, to Arizona, to Las Vegas, up to Washington state, just to stop by and see family and friends, then head back home. That’s just how Pete was, it’s what made Pete, Pete.

In Rochester, Pete was a printer and later opened his own print shop on St. Paul Street. He then later, opened Plaza Copy Center in the First Federal Plaza building on Main Street. It was a family business that his family all worked at. After leaving NY, in NC he found a job with Sunbeam delivering bread and goods to Carolina Beach and surrounding businesses. Pete eventually bought his route and enjoyed the many years working and meeting so many people through this.

Pete will genuinely be so missed; it will be very hard to ever replicate such a person. He was dynamic and original in so many ways, although he would never think so. He was the kind of person that would give everything to a person in need without thinking twice about it, or if he even got anything back. In war he put his life before others, and in civilian life he did as well. He was the most selfless man out there.

Peter is preceded in death by his mother Jeanne Fedder-Lazzaro and his stepfather Joseph Lazzaro as well as an absent father James L. Coffey.

He is survived by his children Thomas Russell Coffey, Jeanna Marie Coffey and Diana Elizabeth Coffey. He is also survived by his two close siblings James Coffey (Lynn Coffey) and Mary Liz Coffey. Also, grandchildren Jennifer Coffey, Delilah Galarza, Anne Marie Coffey, Michele Coffey, Thomasino Mendez, Antoinetta Mendez and David Coffey. He also has one great granddaughter Althena Galarza. Pete also had so many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews that he absolutely cherished.

Peter, as a recipient of the Silver Star medal, will be honored and buried at the Arlington National Cemetery in 2025. He will have a celebration of life Sunday March 10th, at the Moose Lodge, 4610 Carolina beach Rd. Wilmington, NC 28412 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. This will be a true Pete kind of celebration. Low key get together, a few drinks, music and shared memories of Pete. A Rochester NY based food truck will be on premises as well, Garbage plates as Pete described to all.

In lieu of flowers can be made to a veteran charity of choice, he supported all of them.

Please share memories and condolences here.

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