Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Lucy Coffey, the Oldest Living U.S. Woman Veteran, Dies at 108

Lucy Coffey, who served during World War II and was the oldest woman veteran living in the U.S., died this week at the age of 108. In August, she visited President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House; you can watch the very cute conversation here.

Contact the author at


Share This Story

Get our newsletter


Kenny and the Llamas

Rewinding the world through a centenarian's eyes always interests me. So let's see... she definitely remembered a time when horses and wagons were the main transports. Probably remembered the first car she ever rode in, which was probably a Model T, and she might well have remembered the first one she even saw. Probably remembered her first phone call, which was likely on a party line. Definitely remembered the first plane she saw.

Her earliest significant world event memory would be WWI. Definitely saw some heinous shit during the horrible white-on-black racist violence of the Teens and Twenties.

She came of age in the Roaring Twenties, maybe had her first drink at a speakeasy. First Presidential election she was eligible to vote for was Hoover vs. Al Smith. The Depression started when she was 22; welcome to the world, adult Lucy.

She joined the WAAC in her thirties, so she was no fresh, wide-eyed kid during the War. Was in her fifties in Texas during the main part of the Civil Rights Movement. Was in uniform through Korea and Vietnam- what must Vietnam have looked like to a sixty-something year old WWII vet? I wonder if she was a supporter, or if she wanted to strangle Johnson and Nixon?

She was early sixties for the first moon landing. From horses to cars to planes to humans on the moon. What a sense of wonder that must have been.

Already in her seventies for Reagan. Was she a conservative old, or a tired New Dealer who saw through his shit and knew what he represented?

Imagine telling her in the Twenties that she'd live to see a black President with a woman Secretary of State.

This meander through the twentieth century brought to you by Kenny's history nerdery.