Gerald Dillon Coffey, 86, of Vero Beach Florida and Shrewsbury, NJ, passed away on August 22, 2019. He was born in Youngstown, Ohio to the late Harold and Lucretia (Dillon) Coffey. Upon his graduation from Dartmouth College, Gere joined the United States Air Force and became a pilot, ultimately flying the B-47 bomber. After his service to our country he joined Northeast Airlines in Operations and was instrumental in the opening of Fort Lauderdale International Airport. He then joined Penton Publishing of Cleveland Ohio and spent 36 years there, starting in advertising and ending his career as the publisher of Air Transport World magazine.
Gere along with his wife Margaret became involved with the forming of HABcore of Red Bank which houses the homeless. HABcore meant so much to Gere and he has a deep understanding of the residents’ needs. Coffey Residence is a meaningful, living tribute in memory of his son John. He gave the Coffey Residence both his financial backing and the gift of time, even taking evening shifts at the home when there was a gap in staffing and manning the grill and flipping burgers during cookouts.
After retirement he moved to Vero Beach Florida, and became involved in the Sea Mist Court Property Owners Association and was president for many years. He also belonged to The Moorings Yacht and Country Club. He was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Little Silver and St. Augustine of Canterbury in Vero Beach, Florida.
Family was everything to Gere, spending time with his grandchildren and providing them with laughter, his puns and witty songs of his youth during Sunday family dinners brought him immense joy. He was warm and compassionate and always a gentleman. He enjoyed his martini “dry, up with a twist!”
Gerald is predeceased by his loving wife Margaret in 2014, his son John Coffey and his brother Charles A. Coffey. Surviving is his loving children Elizabeth Cheney Mancuso and her husband Thomas of Red Bank and William H. Coffey of Shrewsbury, his cherished grandchildren Caitlin and her husband Paul, Colin and his wife Kerry, Jillian and her husband Derek, Caroline, Erica, and Lauren, his great grandchildren Ada, Sofia, Addison and Maeve and his sister in law Elizabeth Coffey. Also surviving are many loving nieces and nephews.
A memorial gathering will be held at the John E. Day Funeral Home, 85 Riverside Avenue, Red Bank, NJ 07701 on Friday August 30, 2019 from 5-8 p.m. A service will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Little Silver on Saturday August 31, 2019 at 12 Noon. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be sent in HABcore Inc., P.O. Box 2361, Red Bank, NJ 07701.
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