Florence Grace Brelsford Cofer

Published 6:57 pm Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Florence Grace Brelsford Cofer passed away on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015 at age 92, after a brief battle with cancer.  

Grace was born in England in 1923 and lived most of her childhood years in Dittisham, a quaint little British village on the River Dart.  It was in Dittisham during World War II she met Lt. Frank M. Cofer of the U.S. Army who would return after the war to make Grace his bride in 1947. In 1941, Grace was conscripted (drafted) into the workforce, working at the Vickers-Armstrong Factory in Trowbridge, England.  Her job included filing wing supports on the MK V Spitfire.  While working at Trowbridge, she was selected to meet and speak with Queen Mother Mary (Queen Elizabeth II’s grandmother) on April 14, 1943.  She always considered that encounter as one of her most memorable moments and liked to share experience with others she met.  

Grace joined Bethany United Methodist Church after arriving from England in 1947.  She was an active member of the church serving by teaching Sunday school, baking/donating cakes for various events & donating knitted items for fundraising events.  She took great pride in growing daffodils in the spring and beautiful roses from early summer into the fall.  Grace took great pride in making watermelon rind pickles.  She shared many of her knitted dishcloths, roses, and pickles as gifts to doctor, friends and neighbors.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Frank and Grace shared 59 years together before he passed away in 2006.  They worked side by side for most of those years as owners of Greenway Poultry Farm, raising thousands of chickens and delivering fresh eggs to hundreds of customers in Hampton, Newport News and Smithfield.

In addition to her husband, Grace was preceded in death by her mother, Mary Anne Andrews Brelsford, and her only brother, Jim Brelsford.  Her loving survivors include her son, Jim Cofer of Smithfield and his wife Sherry, daughter Myra Anne Harmer of Bellingham, Wash. and her husband Terry, daughter Rosemary Lewis of Martinsville, and her husband Fred.  In addition, Grace will always be remembered by her grandchildren and families, Chris (Whitney) Cofer  and daughters Madison and Macy of Bridgewater,  Brad (Susan) Cofer and son Jackson of Smithfield, Michael (Tanya) Lewis and daughters, Addison and Kinsey of Fayetteville, N.C., Maria (Jeremy) Rohr and daughter, Marilynn of Allen, Texas, Michelle (Andrew) Montanaro of Newport News, and Courtney Harmer of Chicago, Ill.

A celebration of life service was held Oct. 25 at Bethany United Methodist Church, Smithfield with Pastor Michael Frank officiating.  Burial followed in Bethany United Methodist Church cemetery.  

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Bethany United Methodist Building Fund, c/o Raymond Edwards, 13088 Mill Swamp Road, Smithfield, VA 23430.
Service arrangements are in the care of Colonial Funeral Home, Carrollton, Smithfield, Isle of Wight and the surrounding communities.  Family and friends are encouraged to share condolences and remembrances at colonialfuneralhomesmithfield.com.