Harry Coker Sr., 87, of Parsons passed away on Thursday, July 2, 2020, at The Healthcare Resort of Olathe following a lengthy period of failing health.
He was born Nov. 2, 1932, in Parsons to Lonnie and Pearl (Brown) Coker. Mr. Coker grew up and attended schools in Parsons before joining the U.S. Navy in 1951. He served in the Navy for 21 years and spent most of his career in the submarine fleet.
After retirement from the Navy, Mr. Coker returned to Parsons with his wife, the late Lois Charlene Robinson Coker, and family. He attended Pittsburg State University, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. He taught gifted children at Guthridge Elementary School and also served on the Parsons USD 503 Board of Education, where he was a vocal proponent of academic excellence.
Harry Coker was a founding member of SEK Housing Development Inc. in 1980 and served as president of the board for 40 years. The nonprofit corporation built Plaza Place at 2000 Katy Drive to serve elderly Parsons residents.
Mr. Coker was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, David Brannon; a sister, Virginia Coker Stewart; and a brother, Lonnie Coker.
He is survived by his children, Linda (Maurice) Tiggs of Lawrence, Joyce Coker (Moussa Kaba) of Orange, New Jersey, Tina (Mike) Coker-Monroe of Olathe, Donald Coker of Oceanside, California, Harry (Kendra) Coker Jr. of Clinton, Maryland, Leslie Aubert of Los Angeles, Lori Coker of Parsons, Anthony (Michelle) Coker of Oakland, California, Jason (Hideko) Coker of San Diego and Jaime (Trisha Sanders) Coker of Waite Park, Minnesota; his grandchildren, Jacynth Coker, Ryan and Logan Aubert, Amani Coker-Warren, Ayana Coker, Ahmad (Tierra) Kaba, Airi and Ayane Coker and Marlena Coker. Also remaining to cherish his memory are nine great-grandchildren; nieces Paula and Kishna Saterfield of San Leandro, California; and a cousin, Mrs. Lettie McMillan of Joplin.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to needy families and elders in Parsons via organizations of choice. A private graveside service will be held in Oakwood Cemetery.