Yakima Loses Former Mayor and Community Leader
Yakima lost a leader in the community earlier this month. Kathy Coffey passed away on January 13. She was 75.
For many Coffey was a long time Yakima City Council member elected back in 2007. She served as the city mayor for years but also played many other important roles in the community. Coffey spent 19-years as the CEO of the Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau.
Coffey was always thinking about how her decisions impacted Yakima
As a Yakima City Council member and a city representative Coffey was part of state delegations to Washington D.C. and Europe. Coffey also was active representing Yakima on the committee for the Association of Washington Cities.
But many people also knew Coffey as a friend and loved how she cared so much about the community and those who live in Yakima.
Many supported Coffey because she didn't shy away from from tough decisions
Coffey wasn't ashamed of supporting controversial subjects including farm worker housing, and gay rights. In fact in 2019 Coffey, serving as Mayor of the city of Yakima declared June “LGBTQ Pride Month” in a resolution passed by the Yakima City Council.
Remember the proposed plaza in downtown Yakima? In 2015 Coffey was one of a handful of people and city leaders who supported th proposed plaza in downtown. It was a project that never happened but it caused a lot of controversy. Coffey supported the issue saying it would have been a great economic tool. She also supported the plaza saying it would have showed how progressive the community is in eastern Washington.
In 2012 Coffey lost her longtime friend and husband Ken Messer
Coffey lost her long time husband and friend Ken Messer who passed away August 21, 2012.
No services have yet been set but you can leave a memory of Coffey at