Friday, December 21, 2007

Oldest Living WWI Survivor J. Russell Coffey Dies

The last World War I veteran in Ohio, and one of only three known remaining U.S. veterans of the conflict, has died.

J. Russell Coffey was the last WWI vet in the state, according to the Veterans Affairs Department. He died Thursday at the age of 109, said the Smith-Crates Funeral Home in North Baltimore, about 35 miles south of Toledo. The funeral home did not say where Coffey died or the cause of death. He had been living in the Blakely Care Center, a nursing home.

Coffey, born Sept. 1, 1898, did not see action overseas. He enlisted in the Army while he was a student at Ohio State University in October 1918, a month before the Allied powers and Germany signed a cease-fire agreement.
That leaves Frank Buckles, 106, of Charles Town, W.Va., and Harry Landis, of Sun City Center, Fla., as the only other known surviving American soldiers from the war.

It's been 93 years since Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated, but we continue to feel the impact of his life today.


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