Patel, Broaddus, Halloran, Cofer Family

Virginia (Jinx) and Gordhan Patel are establishing this scholarship fund in order to honor these three women who were amazing,
loving, and remarkably strong individuals who stressed the importance of family. This fund honors the memory of Bhuliben
Patel – the mother of Gordhan Lalubhai Patel, the memory of Ferne Virginia Halloran Broaddus – the mother of Virginia (Jinx)
Broaddus Patel, and the memory of Ferne Randolph Broaddus Cofer – the sister of Virginia (Jinx) Broaddus Patel.

Bhuliben Patel

Bhuliben Patel was born in Dhaman, a rural village in the state of Gujarat, India. Her marriage to Lalubhai Patel was arranged, and she moved to his village, Kuched. Early in their marriage, Lalubhai and his brother traveled to Mozambique – a Portuguese colony in East Africa where they purchased a banana plantation near the capital city, Lourenco Marques (named Maputo in 1975). Bhuliben soon followed with their first son, Gopal. Their other two children, Gordhan and Laxmi were born in Mozambique in 1936 and 1944, respectively. During those years, Bhuliben and Lalubhai created a family compound of nephews and their families – totaling about twenty-five family members coming from India. Bhuliben directed the activities and organization of this household. In December 1961, when India by military action repossessed Goa, a tiny Portuguese colony in the Indian sub-continent, the Portuguese authorities in Mozambique rounded up all residents with Indian citizenship, confiscated all of their properties and put them in a detention camp for six months. This included Bhuliben, Lalubhai and their family members who were Indian citizens. This excluded their son, Gordhan, who was a college student in the United States, their daughter, Laxmi, and their son Gopal’s wife and their four grandchildren who were Portuguese citizens by virtue of their birth in Mozambique. After six months of detention, all Indian citizens were required to leave Mozambique. However, Bhuliben and Lalubhai were exempted from this deportation order and allowed to remain with Laxmi and Gopal’s wife and their grandchildren. Gopal and the others returned to their ancestral homes in India. Lalubhai died in 1971 and Gopal was allowed to return to Mozambique after being separated from his wife and children for nine years. In 1975, after the communist take-over of Mozambique, Bhuliben and Gopal with his family immigrated to Athens, Georgia and in 1977 moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Bhuliben spent her remaining years surrounded by children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She possessed a marvelous sense of humor and was always active. When she died at the age of a hundred and one plus in 2007, she had lived on three different continents, adapted wonderfully to each, and was so loved and adored by her family.

Ferne Cofer

Ferne Virginia Halloran Broaddus was born in Hinton, West Virginia in 1901.
Hinton was a thriving town in the early 1900s because the trains stopped there
for refueling. Ferne was one of seven children who were all musical, playing
two to three instruments, and always hosting neighborhood parties on their
front porch. As a young woman, Ferne would often play the piano in the
theater to accompany the showing of a silent movie. She met her husband,
Randolph Gwinn Broaddus, MD, when he, as a young surgeon, accepted a
position at the Hinton Hospital. They were married in 1926 and had their first
daughter, Ferne Randolph, in 1927. Their second daughter, Virginia Gwinn
(Jinx) was born in 1937. In 1928, Randolph became superintendent of the
Raleigh General Hospital in Beckley, West Virginia. The family moved up
the mountain twenty-five miles to Beckley in 1942. Her husband Randolph
also established for a few years a nursing school in Beckley because he needed
trained nurses to staff the Raleigh General. Ferne was an exceedingly active
member of St. Stephens Episcopal Church as well as the Raleigh County
Medical Auxiliary, Girl Scouting, the Beckley Woman’s Club, the Monday
Music Club, the Azalea Garden Club , and two historical societies. As a
gracious hostess, Ferne was always having events for these many organizations,
and especially hosting the reunion parties of the Raleigh General Hospital
Nurses Alumnae Association in their home. She was a devoted and loving
wife, mother, and grandmother and stressed the importance of family.

Ferne Broaddus

Ferne Randolph Broaddus Cofer was born in Hinton, West Virginia. She
attended private schools, St. Margaret’s School in Tappahannock, Virginia
and the Ward Belmont School in Nashville, Tennessee, for her secondary
education. She received a Bachelor’s degree from the College of William and
Mary and a degree in Medical Technology from the University of Virginia. In
1950, she married Joseph P. Cofer, a graduate of the Naval Academy and at
that time, a Lieutenant in the Navy. The first ten years of their marriage, they
had three children and moved eleven times living in Monterey, CA; Norfolk,
VA; Charleston, SC; Boston, MS; London, England. When her husband
retired from the Navy as Captain, they settled in Chattanooga, TN, where their
fourth child was born. Ferne worked as a medical technologist and a real estate
broker. She was a founding member of St. Thaddaeus Episcopal Church and
was the first woman to be appointed to the vestry. Ferne was a superior cook
and a gracious hostess. She and Joe had many sets of friend so Ferne was always
hosting gatherings. It was always important for her large family to come to her
home for holiday celebrations. She was a loving and wonderful daughter, wife,
mother, sister, and grandmother and was adored by all who knew her.