Puerto Rican Writer Judith Ortiz Cofer Dies at 64

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Our thanks to Loretta Collins Klobah for bringing the sad news to our attention.

Judith Ortiz Cofer (February 24, 1952-December 30, 2016) has passed away at the age of 64.

An announcement from the Taylor Funeral Home in Louisville, Georgia:

Taylor Funeral Home of Louisville announced the death and service of Mrs. Judith Ortiz Cofer, age 64 of Zebina Road, Louisville, who died Friday morning, December 30, 2016 at her residence.

A native of Hormiguerros, Puerto Rico, Judith was a daughter of the late J. M. Ortiz Lugo and Fanny Morot Ortiz. She was a retired Professor of English and creative writing with the University of Georgia. Judith was a prolific literary writer in multiple genres, and received many awards for her writing and teaching. She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother.

Judith was preceded in death by her parents and is survived by her loving husband, Charles John Cofer of Louisville; daughter, Tanya Cofer of St. Simons; brother, Rolando Ortiz of West Palm Beach, FL; grandson, Elias John Ruderfer of St. Simons; son in law, Isidor F. Ruderfer of St. Simons; brother in law, Jerry W. Cofer of Louisville; sister in laws, Diane Cofer Barnes and Julie Cofer Sargent of Louisville; nephew, Alexander Ortiz of Washington, DC; cousin, Kenneth Rodriguez of Louisville; many family members in Louisville, Puerto Rico and Augusta.

The Cofer family will receive friends 3:00 to 5:00 PM Saturday, December 31, 2016 at the funeral home. Burial will be in the Louisville City Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family request memorials be made to the American Cancer Society.

Ortiz Cofer died of liver cancer.

6 thoughts on “Puerto Rican Writer Judith Ortiz Cofer Dies at 64

  1. Rest in Peace Mrs Cofer nice to hear rhat are so many talented Puerto Rican writers such as your self. Condolences to your family

  2. I left the news and my comments both on Facebook and at the guest book at the funeral parlor. Several writers have responded to my posting at Luz Maria Umpierre on my Facebook. Admired even by island historians who have reacted in anguish just like I did.

    1. My deepest condolences to the family and friends. RIP Judith Ortiz Cofer. I love her books especially An Island like You and many more. I am very proud of her legacy as a Puerto Rican writer. God bless her soul and rest in peace.

  3. On December 30, I was surprised and dismayed hearing that Judith had passed away. My former student at UGA, Dr. Monica Ruiz-Melendez, who had been notified by Adela Torres of Judith’s passing, immediately sent me the news via Facebook. Judith lived such a clean life that it was shocking to hear that she had died of cancer, and so soon after she retired from UGA. She was a role model of how the discipline of daily writing leads to a prolific legacy of literary productivity. Aside from her role as writer, Judith introduced me to the wonderful world of birds, when in May, 1999, she gifted me with my precious Lorita, a cockatiel, who had been hand-raised by Judith’s husband in Louisville, GA. Judith was a dear and much admired friend who left us much too early, and she will be dearly missed. Her work enhanced Latino/a literature, and in particularly Puerto Rican literature, with her many outstanding contributions to the field. My heartfelt condolences to her family, both in Georgia and in Puerto Rico. May her soul now rest in peace in “el azul.”

    1. Precious words. I brought her to WKU when she was only an instructor at Georgia. She enthralled the audience with her humble character, and creative
      brilliance. She is a far better writer than others who are bestowed too much privilege but we Ricans get the least praise. The men do even get called the Nerudas of their generation, for example. But Judith does not need that kind of worthless praise, she was the true marvel and radiance without exaggerated additions. Equal to Julia Alvarez in my teachings and research but both had the same vision to go into creative writing and not the teaching of literature. Brava, Judith!

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