Regina Coffey Alig passed away peacefully on Jan. 24, 2021, in Houston, Texas. She was born on July 22, 1944, in Pasadena, Calif., to Eugene and Lucille (Hufnagel) Coffey, both from Okarche, Okla. Regina was the oldest of nine children. She and her siblings grew up on the Naval Ordinance Test Station at China Lake, Calif., where her father served in the U.S. Navy and later as a civilian engineer.
Regina spent a lot of time outdoors in the Mojave Desert valley where China Lake was located with the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the west. She helped her father survey land around China Lake and in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
On winter days, Regina would point out to the younger kids the snow on the top of Mt Whitney. She learned to sail in summer camp, and to hear her tell it, she walked uphill to school and back through sandstorms both ways.
As the oldest child, she forged a special bond with her brothers and sisters as their caregiver when their parents were out.
Regina was an excellent student and athlete, attending Burroughs High School at China Lake and graduating from Villa Cabrini Academy in Burbank, Calif.
In China Lake she was a competitive member of one of the swim teams. At Villa Cabrini, she won high honors in a city-wide Los Angeles mathematics competition when she was a senior in high school.
She attended college at Ohio State University where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and Education. She began her teaching career in 1966, teaching in Denver, Colo.; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Brooklyn, N.Y. She moved to Oklahoma in 1970 to be close to her grandparents, John and Mildred Hufnagel.
She taught school in Tulsa and Oklahoma City before returning to Okarche for a family funeral where she met the love of her life, David J. Alig. Dave and Regina married on April 5, 1975, in Oklahoma City and had three children, ennifer, Jon, and Joe Alig.
In 1982 Regina began teaching at Okarche Public Schools, “the best school in Oklahoma,” as she always said. During her years of teaching at Okarche, Regina earned a master’s degree in Library Media from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and a second master’s degree in K-12 Administration from the University of Central Oklahoma.
Regina taught school until 2001 when she became the principal of Okarche Elementary School. She retired in 2005 after a lifetime of hard work educating children.
Regina has spent many years volunteering in the Okarche community, including serving on the Altar Society and two terms on the Parish Council of Holy Trinity Catholic Church.
She was a founding member of the DayBreakers Investment Club, the Sisterhood of Quilters, and the Okarche Education Foundation. Regina continued to teach in retirement, volunteering countless hours to tutor students at Okarche Elementary School. Her dedication and passion for children’s education was a lifelong endeavor.
Regina and Dave enjoyed their retirement years traveling to new places, cruising the coast of South America, and taking mountain jeep rides. They relished playing pitch and taking wine tours with their friends in Okarche.
Regina found a new passion in her grandchildren, going to every game, award ceremony, and graduation. Regina absolutely loved being a Nana, and her grandchildren were the great joy of her life.
Regina is survived by her husband, Dave Alig of Okarche; daughter Jennifer Alig of Oklahoma City; son Jon Alig and wife Rhiannon of Okarche and their children Payden, Tanner, Alexis, and Emma; son Joe Alig and wife Karen of Okarche and their children Briley and Brady; sisters Paula Coffey, Judy (John) Shapiro, and Marian Coffey; brothers Greg (Deborah) Coffey, Brian (Barbara) Coffey, Bob (Laura) Coffey, and Jim Coffey; numerous beloved nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins; and countless treasured friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Gene and Lucy Coffey, and one brother, Mike Coffey.
Regina was laid to rest in a graveside service at 2 p.m. on Jan. 29, 2021, at Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery in Okarche.
A celebration of her life willbe held on July 24, 2021, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Okarche. A mass willbe held at 5 p.m., and everyone is cordially invited to celebrate Regina’s birthday at the Parish Hall at 6 p.m. to honor her life.
Regina absolutely loved children, and she was proud of her legacy as a teacher and principal.
To honor Regina’s memory, the family would be grateful for contributions to either St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in memory of Kreede Schwarz or the Okarche Education Foundation in Regina’s name.