LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Nation's Oldest Female Veteran Dies At 108

President Obama and Vice President Biden visit with Lucy Coffey in the Vice President's Office of the White House on July 25, 2014.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Lucy Coffey, the nation's oldest female military veteran, has died at the age of 108. She died Thursday in her sleep at her home in San Antonio, Texas. Her friend, Queta Marquez, a veterans' service officer, says Coffey had been sick for about a week and had a chronic cough, according to CBS.

Coffey was working at an A&P grocery store in Dallas when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, according to the Stars and Stripes. In 1943, she joined the newly formed Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. The war took her to the Pacific theater, including New Guinea, the Philippines and finally Japan, where she spent a decade before moving to San Antonio.

President Obama issued a statement Friday on her passing, noting that Coffey earned two bronze stars and that "the example set by her and her fellow WACs has inspired generations of patriots since."

Last year, other veterans in Texas organized a so-called Honor Flight for Coffey that brought her to Washington, D.C., to see the area's war memorials. During that trip, Coffey met President Obama and Vice President Biden.

In Friday's statement, Obama said it was an honor meeting Coffey and that "it was clear that the passage of time never dampened her patriotic love of country or her pioneering spirit."

Only one other veteran — another Texan, named Richard Overton — was older than Coffey ... by just three days.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)