Obituary: Sofi (Janaros) Cofield (1940-2023)

Sofi (Janaros) Cofield, 83, of Middletown, RI, a career Newport Public School Department employee, co-owner of Rent-A-Husband, and beloved member of the St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church community passed away on September 7, 2023.

Born in Newport, RI, she was the loving wife to Clyde (Kip) H. Cofield, former Middletown police officer, and devoted mother to Michael H. Cofield and Steven C. Cofield. Sofi and Kip were happily married for 54 years, living in Middletown for the duration of their lives.

Her husband, Kip, and parents Michael P. Janaros and Mary (Pappas) Janaros precede Sofi in death.

Her loving sons Michael Cofield of New York City, and Steven Cofield of Portsmouth, RI and granddaughter, Taylor Nicole Cofield, of Portsmouth survive her.

Sofi is also survived by her twin sister, Tina Janaros Fowler, her sister Joanne Janaros Cadenazzi, and her brother Peter E. Janaros, and his wife Diane Marcucci Janaros. She also leaves godchildren, nieces, nephews, and many cousins and friends who were like sisters to her (you know who you are).

Sofi graduated from the then-new Rogers High School in 1958. After graduation, she began what became a 30-year career with the Newport School Department. Her fondest memories were of the 17 years she spent in the Dean’s Office with Sheila Winter, James Martland, and Ferrer Buratti. She often enjoyed encountering her “RHS” kids and learning of their life accomplishments.

In the late 1980s, Sofi and Kip started the family-run handyman/construction business “Rent A Husband,” which they operated together for 29 years.

Sofi was a member of the St. Spyridon Church Parish Council, Secretary of the church Restoration Project, and co-chaired the Beautification of St. Spyridon Church. She was an active member of the St. Spyridon Philoptochos Society, helping to lead the establishment of the St. Spyridon Soup Kitchen.

Sofi often joked that she was long on interest but short on talent in many creative endeavors. She claimed to be lousy in several mediums: charcoal, watercolors, oil paints, folk art, and ceramics, to name but a few. However, growing and showing her roses was her passion. Sofi was a well-decorated Rosarian and founding/charter member of the Rhode Island Rose Society serving as Publicity Chair, as well as many terms on the Board of Directors. She was active in both the Portsmouth and Middletown Garden Clubs.

Socially, she enjoyed her RHS “Homemakers Club”, who gathered regularly for decades after graduation. For over 40 years Sofi and Kip enjoyed camping at Maple Park with family and good friends. Her Weight Watchers coffee group and Bunco Night were also a source of many fond friendships.

Sofi was happiest when she was surrounded by her family and friends and entertaining. She will be remembered for her sense of humor and laughter she shared with friends (and some strangers). Her spirit lives on through her pride and joy: her sons and granddaughter.

Her family wishes to gratefully acknowledge the compassionate care provided by the staff of Village House Special Care Unit during her two-year residence.

In lieu of flowers, Memorial Offerings in Sofi’s memory may be made to St. Spyridon Church Soup Kitchen or Philoptochos Society.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, from 4:00-7:00 PM in the Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport.

A Funeral will be offered Wednesday, September 13 at 10:00 AM in St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church, 390 Thames St. Newport. Burial will follow at the Four Corners (Middletown) Cemetery.




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