Friends remember Glenn Cofield as man who loved God, Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Friends and family are remembering a local businessman and philanthropist who was gunned down in a church parking lot Friday night as a man who made both God and community a part of his life.

Police said Monday they’re still investigating the attempted robbery that killed 57-year-old Glenn Cofield, and they haven’t made any arrests.

Flowers now line the parking lot of Greater Lewis Street Missionary Baptist Church at Poplar and East Parkway. This isn’t where Cofield went to church, but it’s where police say he was killed in front of his wife, while coming home from a charity event nearby.

Richard Graham, executive director of Juvenile Intervention and Faith-based Follow-up, said Cofield started donating to the organization in 2003 and later becamea board member.

“He was a man that loved God. He loved giving back,” Graham said. “He wanted to do something for the youth in our city.”

Ed Galfsky also knew Cofield as a dedicated philanthropist, someone who served on the Carnival Memphis board since 2001, helping children’s charities across the Mid-South.

Glenn Cofield (left) stands next to Phil Trenary in a Carnival Memphis publication from 2001. Both men were killed in similar circumstances recently.

Photos taken from the charity’s annual magazine show him with his family. Another shows Cofield standing right next to Phil Trenary, the Chamber of Commerce president who was also shot and killed in similar circumstances less than a year ago.

“I know both those guys would give the shirt off their back to help somebody out,” Galfsky said. “Such a shame they died in this manner, very early. They should’ve been around a lot longer to help these positive things happen in our city.”

Both men say there’s a sort of irony in all of this, but they say they’re still dedicated to the mission of improving the city.

“It’s time to ratchet it up,” Graham said. “It’s time to get after it. It’s time to get busy. That would be both of their approaches. That’s the kind of men they both were.”

Cofield’s family members said they’re making funeral arrangements for Saturday but haven’t settled on a time yet.

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