Dateline: Bakersville, NC
Coy Daniel Hollifield, age 72, of Greenberry Rd. Bakersville, NC went home to be with the Lord May 30, 2021 surrounded by his loving family.
Danny, Marine, Farmer, Coy, Sheriff, Daddy, Friend, Chief, The Old Man, Poppey, Warrior...these were the names of our Dad.
When we were children, hearing him called Danny was a special treat. This person had stories. This person knew of his childhood adventures and teenage mischief. As a toddler, he slept on the back of a mule while his Granddaddy plowed the field. At the age of twelve, he could harness a team and plow a field just as effortless as an adult. As a teenager, he had a route as a milkman and even drove a school bus while he was still in high school.
As a young man, he transitioned into a Marine leaving Spruce Pine, North Carolina on a train. Times were just different then. Men worked hard and showed little affection or emotion. As the train pulled from the station, Danny heard his father call out, ”I love you.” This was the first time he ever heard his father say this. (We suppose this is why he always told us he loved us multiple times a day.) He served during Vietnam. As children, he taught us to respect our country. He told stories of men and women who fought willingly. He also told us of the tragedies of war. Veterans and their families are forever changed; for those who survive see the world differently. They find joy in the simplest of things because they have seen and experienced devastation and tragedy. When the Pledge of Allegiance was recited or the National Anthem was played, he would immediately stand at attention out of respect for the uncountable number of men and women who lost their lives fighting for our freedom.
When he returned to the farm, his new acquaintances would know him as Coy. As he helped his family, he also found his love for law enforcement. At the age of twenty-eight, he was the youngest elected Sheriff in North Carolina. There are so many stories. Many brought smiles and uncontrollable laughter while others were full of heartache and pain. He was always willing to give a helping hand and a second chance; however, he also meant business.
While in office, he married a young lady from Ledger, North Carolina. Billie Norman was going to change this thirty-three-year-old man’s life forever. He became a daddy to four wonderful girls. Each girl is certainly different in her own way, but the love he gave to each of us was equal and unconditional. He taught us about the love of Christ, the value of honesty, and the importance of working hard. Sunday mornings and nights and Wednesday nights were always reserved for church. Every Saturday, we would wake to hear him singing, “Oh I can’t get them up, I can’t get them up in the morning,” or we would wake to ice cold water dripping on our faces if we wanted to sleep a little longer. Every Saturday he made homemade biscuits and chocolate gravy...the sustenance that would get us to lunch while working in tobacco, the hayfield, or chopping wood.
As we grew, we would learn of all the friendships he had. He was a helper. He would visit people in the hospital...some that he didn’t know, but they immediately became friends. His kind smile made everyone feel at ease. This was most definitely inherited from his mother. Granny gathered the grandkids on the weekends and took us to the Brian Center. We went door to door singing to patients, “How much is that doggy in the window; the one with the waggly tail,” holding their hands, and listening to their stories.
One of the greatest gifts he gave us was the friendship of his Amish friends in Pennsylvania. These friends taught the entire family about genuine love and kindness. They are the epitome of true friends. Their expressions of sincere happiness for others, how they never make comparisons of people or possessions, and how they always slow down to enjoy life and spend more time with family will forever make them an extension of our own family.
As his daughters grew older, he felt the best professional move was to become the Chief of Police in Spruce Pine. Although an officer is never truly off duty, it changed his hours, so he could be at home more with his family. During this time, we were getting old enough to understand what police officers really do. They deal with the good, the bad, and the devastating. The slogan “Serve and Protect” is honored among these men. They provide helping hands when needed in all kinds of circumstances. On the same hand, they protect the community at all costs. They see death, abuse, evil, and sadness. He would come home burdened for our community, and kneel gently in the barn loft at night and thank God for all the good he saw and pray for all the bad he witnessed.
At the “PD” is where he earned the name, “The Old Man.” This was his second family, these officers in black and blue. These men came to work every day uncertain if they would return home at the end of their shift. He protected them, gave them unwanted and wanted advice, and desired to see each one of them be his best. He willingly served Mitchell County for forty-two years. He loved his job, and he often quoted the phrase, “Find a job you love, and you will never work again.”
“Poppey” was most certainly his proudest name. With the birth of his grandchildren, the Old Man began to mellow. “I have seven grandchildren,” he boastfully told anyone who would listen. He never tired of talking about his grandchildren: the preacher, the two workers, the two farmers, his favorite granddaughter, and the quiet one with the best smile. They were his pride and joy. These children are the ones who received his most valued possessions...old police badges, his guns, and most importantly each one received a Bible that he had read and left notes in the margins. He was able to witness the salvation and baptism of all seven.
He was a Warrior. One of his dearest friends referred to him as God’s Warrior. He taught Sunday School. He had many heartfelt conversations about salvation. He stood for his convictions and desperately wanted everyone to know God as his/her personal Savior.
He is now reunited with his mom and dad, Jo Etta and JD Hollifield. Joining him at a later earthly time will be his wife, Billie June Hollifield; his sister Melda Biddix and his brother-in-law, Alan Biddix; and his children and grandchildren, Tammy Buckner; Shana, Cass, Keyven, Keaton, and Daylen Buchanan; Casey, Kelly, Colton, and Landon Johnson; Cara, Matt, Ettalen, and Elam Laws.
He is no longer sick. He is no longer in pain. He no longer suffers. We are sure by now that he has kissed the feet of Jesus.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 4:00PM in Freedom Baptist Church with Reverends Cass Buchanan and Keyven Buchanan officiating. The family will receive friends from 2:00PM until 4:00PM prior to the service. Interment will follow the service at GreenLee Cemetery on Dale Rd, Spruce Pine, NC with Sgt. EL Randolph Chapter 57 DAV conducting military honors. Memorials may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of The Blue Ridge 236 Hospital Drive Spruce Pine NC 28777.
Henline - Hughes Funeral Home is assisting the Hollifield Family.
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