The Woodward News

April 30, 2013

Koral Kay Coffman Moyer

Woodward News


JUNE 29TH, 1934-

APRIL 22, 2013

     On June 29th, 1934, at the height of the Great Depression, in the heart of dustbowl country, William Ezra Coffman and Ethel Virginia Richardson Coffman welcomed the birth of their eighth child and sixth daughter to their home in Gage, Oklahoma.  They named her Coral Cay, a name that would go through several evolutions in her lifetime, the first occurring in elementary school when, for reasons lost to time, she became Koral Kay. 

     They moved to a farm seven miles north of Gage when she was a small girl.  In an interview in 2006 she described her childhood home as a wonderful playground with ditches to jump, hills to climb, dirt to play in and trees to climb. The history of the era records a time of crippling drought, blinding dirt storms and life threatening “dust pneumonia”,  but Koral’s mind amplified the good times and she described having a multitude of barnyard pets, playing with her siblings with tires and in rusted car shells and rolling each other down barren rocky hillsides in an old barrel.  About this time her name evolved one more time from Koral to “Corky”, a nickname that reflected her carefree, energetic spirit.

     The school years presented another pivotal event into Corky’s life, the introduction of a neighbor boy, Robert “Bob” Moyer. Though only her senior by four years, as a teenager, Bob was entrusted to drive the school bus.  When the ornery boys on the bus would tug on Corky’s braids, Bob would come to her rescue. She graduated valedictorian of the Gage High School class in 1952, and completed a semester at Oklahoma State University.  However, Koral’s heart must not have strayed far from her school bus driver because on April 8, 1953 her name evolved one more time and she became Koral Kay Moyer when she married Robert George Moyer at the Methodist Church in Woodward, Oklahoma.

     Bob and Koral moved into a two room house just four miles from her childhood home.  Koral would spend the remaining sixty years of her life on this homestead in stewardship of both the land and its people. She was perfectly suited to a life of farming and ranching, preferring to labor outside next to Bob caring for livestock rather than work in the kitchen – though she did both proficiently.

     Their marriage was blessed with five children, the first; Robert Jeffrey was born in 1954 followed by a new addition every two years for the next six years: Victor Lee in 1956; Kenneth Scott in 1958 and Clifford Alan in 1960.  Then, as Bob liked to explain, “We summer fallowed for six years!”  Laura Jean was born in 1966.  The birth of each new child provided an opportunity to build another room to their little house, often salvaging materials from abandoned homesteads in the area.  The additions included an indoor bathroom in 1956.

     While rearing their family, with hard work and frugal living, they also built the ranch in acres, livestock and structures.  Koral recalled that her happiest memories were of working with her husband and children and feeling accomplishment and a well-earned fatigue at the end of a long work day.

     Bob died in November of 1997.  Koral grieved his loss deeply as they had shared a love and devotion only few are blessed to know.  Through strength of character and love of family she braved the dark days of grief and continued to work the ranch she held so dearly and could be often found checking cattle on her four wheeler, working in her garden and teaching her grandchildren and great-grandchildren the value of hard work and perseverance through her example. Koral died at home on her beloved ranch April 22, 2013.

     Her death is grieved and her life is celebrated by three sisters Glee Bahrych of Denver, CO; Connie Brown and husband Warren of Sterling, CO; Klo Ann Curtis and husband Bob of Aptos, CA; a brother Richard Coffman and wife Lucille of Millington, Tennessee; Four sons: Robert Moyer of Skiatook, OK; Vic Moyer and wife Grace of Woodward, OK; Kenneth Moyer and wife Kris-Ann of Fargo, OK; Cliff Moyer of Gage, OK and Laura Zimmerman and husband Mark of Bettendorf, IA; fourteen grandchildren and five great grandchildren.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert George Moyer; four sisters, Elsie Johnson Moore; Marie Mathers; Juanita Taylor; Loretta “Betty” Thorpe; one brother, Kenneth William Coffman and her parents Ezra and Ethel Coffman.

    Memorials may be made to the Shattuck Windmill Museum or to Cal Farley Boys Ranch in care of the Mason Funeral Home, P.O. Box 695, Shattuck, OK. 73858.

     Graveside services were  held Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 11:00 a.m.. at the Gage Cemetery, Gage, Oklahoma with Pastor Mike Mahaffey officiating.  The family entrusted the Mason Funeral Home of Shattuck, OK with their services.

Condolences may be made to the family at