December 7, 1932September 13, 2020

Betty Gibson Coffey died on September 13, 2020 after a brief illness. Betty was born on December 7, 1932 in Sylva, North Carolina. She was the daughter of Cole Alexander Gibson and Leona Robinson Gibson. She graduated from Waynesville Township High School and earned the Associate Arts Degree from Peace College, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education, cum laude, from Western Carolina University, and a Master of Arts Degree from Furman University. Ms Coffey taught English at Wade Hampton High School where she became the Chair Person of the department. She later served for many years as Language Arts Consultant for The School District of Greenville County. As a student and an educator, she received various honors. She was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Fraternity, a consultant for Advanced Placement English with the College Board, a member of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, a regional judge for the National Council of Teachers of English Achievement Awards in Writing, Outstanding Teacher of the Year, a Senior English Consultant with McDougal, Littell Textbook Company, and a recipient of The Albert T. Scroggins, Jr. Award by The South Carolina Scholastic Press Association for contributions to the field of Scholastic Journalism in South Carolina. Upon retirement, Ms. Coffey taught and studied in the Learning for Retirement Program (now OLLI) at Furman University. She participated for years in a book club which she helped to organize for Greenville County teachers and media specialists. She volunteered at Ten Thousand Villages and The Friends Shop of the Greenville County Library System. She was also a volunteer at Duncan Chapel Elementary where she helped to teach students in reading. Betty was an active member of the Greenville Woman’s Club where she held various offices. This club was later replaced by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of South Carolina. Additionally she traveled for several years throughout Europe, Asia and the U.S. Betty was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Greenville. In addition to her parents, Ms. Coffey was predeceased by sisters Juanita Gibson Leatherwood and Colleen Gibson Crayne and a nephew, Walker Alex Norris. Surviving are nephews Thomas Edward Norris (Corinne) of Murrayville, Georgia and Gary Vinson Sutton (Joleen) of Greenville, South Carolina, a niece Laura Lea Leatherwood of Gaston, South Carolina, great nieces and nephews, and great, great nieces and nephews. In compliance with Betty’s request, no funeral service will be observed. Interment will be at Woodlawn Memorial Park. Memorials may be made to the Greenville Literacy Association, 225 South Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville, SC 29607 or to First Presbyterian Church, 200 West Washington Street, Greenville, SC 29601.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.



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Deb Richardson-Moore

September 17, 2020

Mrs. Coffey was the best English teacher ever. Boy, did I love her. For decades afterward, I'd run into her and she always remembered my name and the names of friends with whom I'd been in school.

Teachers like her inspire you to pursue careers in literature or journalism or simply lay the foundation for a lifelong love of reading. Thank you, Mrs. Coffey.

Mike Elder

September 17, 2020

Ms. Coffey was without a doubt the best teacher I ever had. Her life made a difference for me and many others. Thank you.

Helen McRae

September 15, 2020

I remember working with Betty when I first started teaching in 80s as I started up again after a leave of absence. She was instrumental in inspiring me to courage my students to write. I have often thought of her over the years since my retirement and have had warm remembrances of knowing and working with her. She was definitely an asset for Greenville County Schools. R.I.P. 🙏🏻

Doug Abrams

September 15, 2020

I often think of Ms. Coffey. She was an amazing person and an amazing teacher. I cannot thank her enough for her dedication to teaching. I owe more to her than there are words to properly express. We were all lucky to have known her and especially those of us who were taught by her.

Lynn Edens

September 15, 2020

One of the best. I have thought of her often since leaving Wade Hampton High School. She will be missed by the community and all of the lives she touched.

Susan Sutton

September 15, 2020

Ms. Coffey was one of my favorite teachers at Wade Hampton High School. She made literature come alive. She truly cared about her students and their success. I took so much of what she taught me to Clemson University.

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