The Newnan Times-Herald


Elza Carvalho Coley

  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Sep. 20, 2019 - 5:28 PM

Elza Carvalho Coley

The Newnan Times-Herald

Elza Carvalho Coley, world traveler extraordinaire, took her final, and most important trip, on September 19, 2019, at the beautiful age of 81. She was born March 24, 1938, to Olidia Maria de Carvalho and Fortunato Rodrigues de Carvalho, in Trindade Goias, Brazil. 

She leaves behind her only child, Izabella Coley Smith, her son-in-law, Scott Smith, her grandchildren, Gabrielle Smith, Alexis Barrett and her husband Trevor, Joel Smith and his wife Bailey, her great-grandchildren, Rosie and Judson Barrett, her sisters Elaine Jackson and Terezinha Martin, and her brothers Roberto Davi de Carvalho, and Joao Rodrigues de Carvalho.

Elza’s zest for life was her most dominant trait, truly filling any room with her vivacious personality and booming laughter. In 1964, after meeting and falling in love with him at a Marine Ball Gala event in Brasilia, Brazil, she married the love of her life, Joel Judson Coley. 

They were married for 53 years, until his death, on November 22, 2015. From 1964 to 1983, the small family traveled the world, living in numerous different countries, and visiting countless others along the way. After Elza and Joel retired from the Diplomatic Service, they returned to the United States, and settled in Georgia, living in Bowdon, LaGrange, and Carrollton. 

Elza enjoyed working at Tanner Health Care for many years with the Community Outreach Team, she was an avid Bridge player and an active member of Tabernacle Baptist Church.

Please come and celebrate Elza’s life with the family. Visitation will be held Monday, September 23 from 4 pm – 7 pm at Martin & Hightower Heritage Chapel in Carrollton, Georgia. Funeral Services will be held Tuesday, September 24 at 1 pm at the Tabernacle Baptist Church Chapel in Carrollton, GA with burial to follow immediately after at West Georgia Memorial Park. 

Pallbearers will be Scott Smith, Joel Smith, Trevor Barrett, Paul Martin, Jubal Watts, and Jimmy Watts. Honorary Pallbearers will be Elza’s loving Sunday School Class from Tabernacle Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Tabernacle Baptist Church, 150 Tabernacle Drive, Carrollton, GA 30117 or at, designate memorial contributions for Mrs. Elza Coley.

Messages of condolence may be sent to the family at Martin & Hightower Heritage Chapel has charge of the arrangements.