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In memory of Dessie Coffey

Funeral Leaflet Dessie Coffey Medium Web view

Dessie was born on 11th September 1946 In Newry to Daniel and Rose Coffey, the youngest of two sons. His brother Eugene now deceased.

He was educated at Newry Christian Brothers and Newry Technical College. In 1962, Dessie moved to Belfast to take up an apprenticeship with the Aircraft Manufacturers Short Brothers and Harland. He studied Aeronautical Engineering and Industrial Electronics. He then worked Aldergrove Airport as an Aircraft Engineer until 1975. Up until his retirement in 2001, Dessie was employed in senior management within both the private and public sectors.

On his 21st birthday, Dessie married his wife Stella in St. John’s Gilford and together they had two children, Andrea and Gareth, followed by four grandchildren, 3 boys and a girl (Corey, Cara, Adam and Ethan).

Dessie had three great passions in his life – music, golf and his wife Stella and Stella often joked that she came third in that list!!

A keen golfer, Dessie played with Tandragee Golf Club and once a year he loved playing at Greenore with Gareth, his brother-in-law Malachy and his friend Martin Conlon. Indeed, he loved travelling with his golfing friends. In fact, Dessie loved travelling anywhere – unlike his wife Stella. Even though Stella had a fear of travelling in a car, that didn’t stop Dessie. Travelling to Donegal, he took the car and Stella took the train to Derry where Dessie collected her!

He also had a love of food and especially the desserts! So much so that he earned the nickname ‘five desserts Dessie!’

Music played a big part in Dessie’s life and he and Andrea had a great love for the theatre. They would often visit the Grand Opera House, the Lyric Theatre and the Market Place, Armagh. His favourites were Andrew Lloyd Webber and Andre Rieu. He played the cornet/trumpet and taught himself to play the saxophone. He was a member of Banbridge Silver Band and Dynamic Brass in Lisburn as well as playing saxophone with Dundalk concert band. Over the past few years, Dessie was proud to bring the brass band to St. John’s in Gilford for the Annual Carol Service and we are delighted it is they who are providing the music for this funeral Mass.

When grandson Corey was about two years old, he was shown a clip of his granddad playing on You Tube and of course he was thrilled. So much so that when given the choice of watching Peppa Pig and his Granddad, he always chose his Granddad!

Of course, Dessie loved to be around his family and especially his grandchildren. He thought when he retired there would be plenty of free time but instead he became Corey and Cara’s full-time babysitter, which he wouldn’t have changed. Like all granddads, he loved slipping them the odd sweet or two, but they developed their own code. Instead of ‘sweets’ Dessie called them ‘secrets’ so they didn’t get into trouble when they asked for ‘secrets’!

Dessie was diagnosed with lung cancer in June 2018 and this was a terrible blow. The treatment was difficult and it was a very tough year, but Dessie got on with life as best he could. Then last month, in November, things suddenly deteriorated very quickly. After spending three weeks in City Hospital, Dessie passed away on Tuesday10th December




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