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Bertha Jean Coffey Thomas
Birth: Jul. 29, 1937
Dallas County
Texas, USA
Death: Feb. 24, 1996
Dallas County
Texas, USA

Bertha Jean was born in 1937 at home on Pennsylvania Ave., Dallas, Texas. She was brought into the world with the aid if a Nurse/Midwife that was sent from Parkland Hospital to the home. She was the only child of Mary Oleta Sullivan and Charles Francis Coffey. She always preferred to be called Jean because she did not like the name Bertha though she was named after her mother's friend.

At the age of 6, her Grandmother Sullivan would put money for the water bill in an envelope and send her on the street car to The Dallas Water Company located in Downtown Dallas to pay it. Once she was given the receipt, the clerk would personally accompany Jean back to the next street car for the return tip home. She loved taking comic books with her to the movies, and would sit in the front row and watch the film and read. With striking dark hair and dark eyes, Jean soon won the attention of L.C. Thomas. It was a rocky off again and on again relationship that produced three children of which only two survived to adulthood. The marriage ended in divorce.

Jean loved art, and would spend hours sketching with pencil and pastels. Her love of animals new no bounds, and she adored each and every one of her 'babies'. She was co-owner of Velann Kennels that specialized in breeding miniature black poodles. Velanne's Ginger Annette, and Velanne's Valentino were the favorites of her 'babies', and she was devastated over their passing. After opening Velann Kennels, the mother/daughter team opened Andrette's Grooming Salon that was located at the corner of Easton and Garland Roads in Dallas, Texas.

Her favorite song was Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra instrumental piece, 'Love's Theme.' Her favorite color was pink. Her favorite television shows were, 'Walker, Texas Ranger' 'Cagney and Lacey' 'The Rockford Files' 'Mork and Mindy' 'Gunsmoke' 'Star Trek ' 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' and 'Star Trek: Voyager.'

She loved classic films such as: Cleopatra, Giant, Now Voyager, The Maltese Falcon, and Cat On a Hot Tin Roof. Her favorite new movie at the time was Steel Magnolias.

In April of 1995, she fell in the kitchen and fractured the tip of her tibia right at the knee joint. Being unable to convince her orthopedist that she needed a plaster walking cast, she was given no choice than to use one that wrapped around and fastened with velcro. This did not allow her to walk as it would not provide enough support for the fracture as it slipped down her leg - her weight was not even considered as a factor in her rehabilitation and recovery despite family protests. She remained incapacitated for 10 tortuous months due to the closed-mindedness of medical providers.

On the evening of Friday, February 23, 1996 she complained of severe chest pain and difficulty breathing. She was rushed to Doctor's Hospital, located near her home, in critical condition and was diagnosed as having developed a blood clot that had lodged near her heart. After 9 1/2 hours of enduring horrific chest pain pain and treatments that offered hope in dissolving the clot with drugs, the family cardiologist had determined that angioplasty was the only and last recourse left. The procedure was expected to go well as Jean did not have a personal history of heart disease. After the clot was dislodged, her blood pressure plummeted. Resuscitation attempts were futile. This wonderful doctor who stayed by her side the entire time, came to tell us of her passing and wept himself as her death was not predicted as an outcome.

Her last words before being wheeled to surgery were to her daughter, "I love you too, baby."

[Cause of Death - Medical Mismanagement that led to pulmonary complications]

Biological Father: Charles Francis Coffey

Family links: 
  J. D. Grammer (1914 - 1993)
  Mary Oleta Grammer (1920 - 1997)
  Jimmy Cecil Thomas (1953 - 1953)*
*Calculated relationship
Restland Memorial Park
Dallas County
Texas, USA
Created by: Mary Ann Brown-Powell
Record added: Nov 06, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 79991997
Bertha Jean <i>Coffey</i> Thomas
Added by: Mary Ann Brown-Powell
Bertha Jean <i>Coffey</i> Thomas
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Lesley Beam Smith
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- Saralyn
 Added: Sep. 11, 2012

- Saralyn
 Added: Sep. 10, 2012

- Saralyn
 Added: Sep. 7, 2012
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