Edward R. Coufal (’53)

Edward Ray Coufal March 1, 1923 April 27, 2020 On the afternoon of April 27, 2020 Edward Ray Coufal, a longtime resident of Freeport, and a member of the greatest generation, passed away peacefully. He was born on March 1, 1923 at Cookspoint, Texas on a cotton and corn farm about seven miles from Caldwell, Texas. As a young boy he was a proud farm boy working in the fields with his father and winning several awards with his 4-H projects. He always had many good stories about working on a farm in the 1920’s and the 1930’s. On September 27, 1942 he joined the Air Force and trained as a radio operator. He flew and was trained on the B-17 four engine bombers, the B-29, and the DC 46 transport. He was asked to volunteer for a secret mission. The Air Force would not tell him the mission nor where he was going. He was sent to be a part of one of the most-deadly missions of WWII in the China-India-Burma theater, flying hair-raising missions over the Himalayas to make food and supply drops in China. He lost many friends who were shot down or crashed in the Himalayas. Their mission was to drive the Japanese out of Burma as the first step in the Allied offensive against Japan. He was a life member of the Freeport VFW Post 4341. Upon completing his service in the Air Force, he went to work for Dow Chemical in 1946. In 1949 he went to work for Velvet Air while at the same time continuing his studies at the University of Houston. In 1953 he received his degree in Mechanical Engineering and continued working for Velvet Air until 1965, at which time he started his own company, EDCO Engineering, a commercial air conditioning and heating company that did work on the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, projects in Saudi Arabia, and in the Houston and surrounding areas. EDCO Engineering was successful due to his great relationships with many contractors in the Houston area. When he retired in 1990, his son, Alan, who had been working with his dad since 1972, continued to operate the company until it was sold in 2019. On July 3, 1947 he married his beloved wife; Ruth Elaine Day; of Port O’Conner, Texas. They were married for over sixty-five years. Ruth passed away on September 3, 2012. They built a home on Demi John Island and together they spent many hours fishing. Both loved to dance and at 97 Eddie could still do a little jig. For over thirty years family members would come to Demi John Island on most holidays and birthdays to celebrate. Ruth and Eddie were well known for their generous hospitality. In 2013 Eddie moved to Helotes, Texas to live with his daughter. He loved sitting in the backyard feeding the large flock of birds. He would feed one hundred pounds of bird feed each week. He also drove to get the mail each day, to the bank, and to get a haircut. He drove until he was 96. He was a legend in the neighborhood. A Graveside Service to Celebrate the Life of Eddie will be held at Restwood Memorial Park on Saturday, May 2, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. Guests may view the service on Facebook Live at Restwood Funeral Home and Memorial Park. Eddie was preceded in death by his parents, Emil and Mary Coufal; brother Clarence Coufal; his sisters, Ola Mae Vinson and Annie Lee Phelps; his son, Alan Ray Coufal; and wife, Ruth Day Coufal. He is survived by his brother, Lynn Coufal; daughter, Kathleen Day McIntire; his son-in-law, Ronald McIntire; and his daughter-in-law, Sharon Coufal. He is also survived by his four grandchildren, Kymberley Zamponi, Emily Vann, Brian Coufal, and Megan Sweeney; and his five great-grandchildren, Presley, Graham, Gabriel, Andres and Gavin. Eddie had numerous “favorite cousins and nephews and nieces” and lifelong friends. He was a great husband, son, father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle and friend. Loved by everyone!

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