Remembering Col. Vernon Coffey
Remembering Col. Vernon Coffey
Army Aide to President Nixon
Col. Vernon Coffey, a retired Army colonel and former Army Aide to President Nixon died on September 28, 2019, at Falcons Landing in Potomac Falls, Virginia. He was 91.
In January 1969, Col. Coffey became Army Aide to the President and traveled extensively in the United States and overseas with President and Mrs. Nixon.
Prior to escorting President Nixon during the historic visit to the Peoples Republic of China in 1972, Col. Coffey was one of the individuals that traveled to China making the arrangements for the groundbreaking visit.
A private memorial service will be held at Fort Myer Chapel and followed by interment with Full Military Honors at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.
Donations may be made to the Falcons Landing Benevolent Fund, Falcons Landing, 20522 Falcons Landing Circle, Potomac Falls, VA 20165-7502.
From Ron Walker, former Chairman of the Richard Nixon Foundation and President Nixon’s Director of the Office of Presidential Advance:
“Col Coffey was an outstanding American. He loved his country, his family, the Army and the 37th president of the United States.
“Very early in the administration, I was asked by the military aide to the president, General Don Hughes, because of my military experience, to participate in the selection of the presidential military aides from the various branches of service.
“In my opinion, Vern was head and shoulders above all other candidates from the Army and I was pleased when he was selected. We traveled all over the world together. He was a valuable member of the advance party preparing for the President’s historic trip to the People’s Republic of China. Due to the bitter cold winter weather in Peking, Vern became really sick and the Chinese doctors insisted he stay confined to quarters. Actually, he never stopped working and insisted on referring to himself as the “Pajama Kid.” He rallied for the President and Mrs. Nixon’s arrival and helped make the visit successful.
“Anne and I cherish our friendship with Vern and Sarah and send our love and sympathy to their family.”
From Mike Ebbing, former member of the White House Communications Agency (WHCA).
“Without question, Col. Coffey (along with Jack Brennan) were the most respected military aides and dearest friends of WHCA during my tenure (1970-72). I was a switchboard operator at the Camp David Presidential Retreat for over two years and was part of the traveling White House with trips all over the world.
“Col Coffey always treated the switchboard guys at Camp David and those on Nixon trips with the utmost respect, and the feeling was mutual. At Camp David, Col. Coffey would notify our switchboard first as soon as President Nixon advised him of his Camp David departure plans via Army One back to the White House. I will never forget his deep baritone voice on the phone: ‘This is Col. Coffey!’
“Condolences and prayers from the entire WHCA family to Col. Coffey’s family, friends and loved ones.”
From Col. Jack Brennan, Marine Aide to President Nixon:
“As the first Army Aide to President Nixon he was a stalwart soldier and an inspiration to all with whom he served.”