Jan. 10, 2019, was the 86th Birthday of Herold Coffey, whose Nicholas County home was severely damaged by flooding in June 2016. Buck Edwards, WVUMC Long-Term Disaster Response Construction Supervisor, posted the following reflection on his Facebook page this week about his relationship with Herold:
Last winter my case worker Grace said we needed to go see a man whose home was damaged and hadn’t been helped. My initial thought was why did he wait so long to reach out for help. I reluctantly went and surprisingly found a very proud, Godly, kind, tough 85-year-old man with a bad shoulder and hips who had tried to do his own recovery. As much as he wanted to do his recovery himself, he was just not physically able. Little did I know the profound impact this man Herold Coffey of Holcomb in Nicholas County would have on me and many of our volunteers.
Throughout the spring and summer everyone who came in contact with Herold quickly formed a bond of admiration because of his friendliness, spirit and character. He was so grateful for the help and the kindness our volunteers showed him.
Herold is known locally as an exceptional gardener. His garden is huge because he gives most of the produce away. He takes so much pride in his garden and its upkeep. Last summer on a Friday evening while in the garden his hip socket completely broke. Herold crawled almost 200 yards back to his house to call for help. Two days later he had emergency hip replacement surgery. Eight weeks later or so he was back home recovering. Just a couple weeks ago on a 25-degree evening after dark he was outside helping a friend split firewood. That is one tough guy.
Personally, Herold has become one of my closest friends. He is a father or grandfather figure to me and has helped me to focus on what is important in life. He lives his simple life as an example how a man should live and what one’s priorities should be. Herold is highly respected for being a Godly man with impeccable ethics and morals and is loved by so many. I am so thankful Grace made me go see him last winter. He has been a great blessing to me and I value the advice, guidance and friendship he has shared with me.