Patricia Kathleen (Sweeney) Coffey

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Patricia Kathleen (Sweeney) Coffey, age 89, passed away on February 26, 2021 at Woodside Village in Grand Forks, ND.

Patricia was born on January 20, 1932 in Grand Forks, ND to L.D. and Kathleen (Mulloy) Sweeney. At a young age, she moved with her family from Ardoch, ND to Larimore, ND. Patricia graduated from Larimore High School in 1950. After high school, Patricia attended the College of St. Teresa in Winona, Minnesota, earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1954.

After teaching one semester in Fargo, ND, Patricia married Matthew William (Bill) Coffey on December 27, 1954 at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Larimore, ND. The marriage was officiated by Patricia’s maternal uncle, the Most Reverend Bishop William T. Mulloy.

At the time of their marriage, Bill was an officer in the United States Air Force, serving as a flight navigator. During Bill’s enlistment, they were stationed at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston, Texas and Walker Air Force Base in Roswell, New Mexico. Their two oldest daughters were born in New Mexico. The couple cherished the memories of their time as a military family and often shared stories about the friends they made and their experiences.

In 1958, at the request of Bill’s father, Bill and Pat moved back to North Dakota to take over the operation of the Coffey family farm, located near Voss, ND. Together, they built a very happy and successful life and raised six children. Patricia was an accomplished homemaker, farm wife, and schoolteacher. Pat taught for many years at Minto Public School, serving as a substitute teacher, basic skills/remedial specialist, reading specialist, and kindergarten teacher. She was very involved in community activities, especially in the areas of church and education. Bill and Pat were members of St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Veseleyville, ND for many years, where Patricia served on the Altar Society, Parish Council, and as a CCD instructor. Patricia served as a board member for Upper Valley Special Education, an experience she found particularly rewarding.

Pat and Bill enjoyed cultural events, and they often took trips to Winnipeg, Manitoba to visit museums, galleries, and attend concerts. They loved to travel and enjoyed time spent with their extended family and friends.

Bill Coffey passed away on September 26, 1992. After Bill’s death, Pat relocated from the family farm to Grand Forks, ND. She truly loved her home and she led a full life. Pat vacationed in Ireland with her lifelong best friend, Barbara, and sister-in-law, Catherine in 1999. She spent many winters visiting her family and friends in Arizona. Patricia enjoyed entertaining and playing Bridge, and she relished any opportunity to make memories with her children and grandchildren. In 2009, Patricia took her entire family on a vacation to Hawaii. She attended countless baseball, basketball, football, and hockey games, dance recitals, band and choir concerts, musical theater performances, graduation ceremonies, and much more to support her grandchildren in all of their activities.

In 2017, Patricia moved into assisted living at Wheatland Terrace in Grand Forks, ND. In January 2021, she moved from Wheatland Terrace to the Prairieview neighborhood at Woodside Village in Grand Forks.

Patricia was a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Grand Forks, North Dakota from 1993 until her death.

Patricia’s family will remember her as an intelligent, hardworking, resilient, loving, beautiful, stylish, and elegant Irish matriarch. Her many pearls of wisdom, her strong Catholic faith, and her ability to lead by example helped shape many lives. She will be greatly missed by everyone who had the privilege to know and love her.

Patricia is survived by her five daughters: Janet (Chris) Burns, Grand Forks, ND; Anne (Tom) Bry, Bismarck, ND; Mary (Joe) Alonzo, Kansas City, MO; Clare (Jerry) Schulter, Chandler, AZ; and Margaret (Michael) Morley, Grand Forks, ND. She is also survived by fourteen grandchildren: Tessa (Nathaniel) Taylor; Erik (Shannon) Bry; Lucia Alonzo; Thomas (Dayton) Bry; Austin (Rachel) Alonzo; Kurt Bry; Erin Burns; Matthew Schulter; Maureen (Dylan) Becker; Dylan Lavecchia; Allison Burns; Shane Lavecchia; Michael Schulter; and Joel Bry; and nine great-grandchildren: Maeve and Willa Taylor; Adelae, Sydalee, and Hazel Bry; River and Salem Bry; Grace Alonzo; and River Peachey.

Patricia was preceded in death by her parents, L.D. and Kathleen (Mulloy) Sweeney; her sister, Margaret Anne (Sweeney) Kurak; her husband, Matthew William Coffey; her son, John D. Coffey; and her grandson, Patrick J. Alonzo. Also preceding her in death were her father and mother-in-law, John and Lillian (Costello) Coffey; and her sister-in-law, Catherine (Coffey) Tousley.

In lieu of flowers, Patricia’s family requests that memorials be directed to the American Diabetes Association.

Mass of Christian Burial: 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 10, 2021 in St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Grand Forks, ND.

Visitation: 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday with a 5:00 p.m. rosary service and a 7:00 p.m. vigil service in the Historic Norman Funeral Home. Visitation will continue for one hour prior to the liturgy in the church on Wednesday.

Burial: In the spring at St. Luke’s Catholic Cemetery, Veseleyville, ND.

The online memorial registry may be signed at

(The Historic Norman Funeral Home, Grand Forks, ND)

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